For example Amazon’s warehouse in Trenton, New Jersey is experimenting with new robotic shelves. Amazon employees no longer have to search shelves to find a product that needs to be packaged, instead the shelves move around the warehouse and present themselves (and their products) to the employee at the packing station. These shelves are designed to save employee time by replacing the tedious task of searching for a product that has been ordered.
Also jumping on the robotic bandwagon are the makers of BMW who are using collaborative robots in their South Carolina manufacturing plant. Workers place pieces of insulation and other materials onto the vehicle door frames while machines apply adhesive. The machines make the arduous task less physically strenuous on the employees by reducing elbow strain.
But wait, there’s more…
Some hospitals have begun using robots to administer medication to patients when doctors are unavailable, providing better care to patients and allowing doctors to focus their attention on more vital cases.
The most recent trend shows a pattern of not employee replacement by technology, but supplementation of the workforce creating complementary relationships between man and machine.
Harvard Business Review. June 2015. Beyond Automation Pg. 60.