Current pandemic accelerate the use of robots at work?

Current pandemic accelerate the use of robots at work
In warehouses, like those operated by Walmart and Amazon, robots were already used to improve efficiency. Source: Getty Images
3 Min Read

Daily US Times: It is inevitable that robots are taking away many jobs from humans, analysts say, the coronavirus outbreak is speeding up the process.

Martin Ford has written about the ways robots will be integrated into the economy in the coming decades. He said: “People usually say they want a human element to their interactions but Covid-19 has changed that.”

“[The current coronavirus pandemic] is going to change consumer preference and really open up new opportunities for automation.”

To increase social distancing and reduce the number of staff that have to physically come to work, small and large companies are expanding how they use robots. Robots are also being used to perform roles workers cannot do at home.

America’s biggest retailer, Walmart is using robots to scrub its floors.

In South Korea, robots have been used to measure temperatures and distribute hand sanitiser.

Robot workers may be in greater demand as health experts around the world warning some social distancing measures may need to be in place through 2021.

Bring in the robot cleaners

Companies that make sanitising and cleaning products have seen demand soar.

Danish company UVD Robots shipped hundreds of its machines to hospitals in China and Europe. The company manufactures ultraviolet-light-disinfection robots. Restaurants and groceries offering takeaway are using it more too.

Experts say as more businesses re-open we can expect to see further adoption of this technology. You may see robots cleaning your schools or offices.

Blake Morgan, author of The Customer of the Future, said: “Customers now care more about their safety and the safety and health of workers.”

“Moves towards automation can keep them all healthier and customers will reward companies that do this.”

There are still limitations as Ms Morgan points out that automated checkouts at groceries should reduce human interactions but because many systems don’t work well or break easily customers avoid them and go to human cashiers instead.

Help with social distancing

Food service is another area where the use of the machine has the potential to increase because of health concerns.

Fast-food chains like McDonald’s have been testing robots as servers and cooks.

In warehouses, like those operated by Walmart and Amazon, robots were already used to improve efficiency.

The Covid-19 outbreak has both companies looking to increase the use of robots for sorting, shipping and packing.

This may reduce the number of complaints by warehouse workers who say they cannot social-distance from their colleagues under the current conditions.

You may read: Key weapon in battle against coronavirus can be made at home