Small Robot Invasion of Farms, Malls, Walmart

Field Notes on the Automation Trap (11 June 2016)

These are my personal notes on happenings, news, signals related to my research on automation and alternative means on economic development. See The Automation Trap.

 

Rise of Small Farm Robots: Or why the miniaturization of farm machinery will help encourage small, diverse farms.

via Brian Halweil (18 May 2016)

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Miniaturization of farm machinery could help the financial sustainability and productivity of smaller and more diverse farms. In addition, manufecturing are using “Robot-as-a-Service” (RAAS) model to allow small farms – with less capital for investment – to use these nimble, advanced robotics on-demand.

Robots Are Invading Malls (and Sidewalks) Near You

via MIT Technology Review (08 June 2016)

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Starship’s robots autonomously drive down sidewalks to deliver packages.

Robots are starting to move from the factory floor to being servants in hotels, security guards at hotels, and inventory checkers at retail stores. For example, butler robots made by Savioke have already made their debut in eight hotels in the United States. The article notes that the robot”making around 25 to 30 daily trips to guest rooms carrying requested items including snacks, toothpaste, and packages.”

Elsewhere, Starship robots are making package deliveries in a number of cities around the world:

So far, 15 Starship robots have driven 3,200 miles on public sidewalks in Arkansas, London, Estonia, and the San Francisco Bay Area. I got to see one of them do some laps around a park in San Francisco, where it was funny to watch people do double takes as they tried to work out what it was and to whom it belonged.

 

Wal-Mart says it is 6-9 months from using drones to check warehouse inventory

via Reuters (02 June 2016)

Walmart announced they are six-to-nine months away from launching their own drone system to check on warehouse inventories.

Natarajan said drones can reduce the labor intensive process of checking stocks around the warehouse to one day. It currently takes a month to finish manually.

 

 

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