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Distrubtion Moves Closer to Fully Automated Warehouses

Happy Monday, dear readers!

In the past, your humble blogger has written about Amazon’s delivery model – avoiding human labor by delivering by drones, reducing human labor by replacing some tasks with robots, and, if necessary, avoiding the pitfalls of employment by trying to hire “independent contractors” or using the gig economy.

Now, some online shippers may be on the verge of something different – either fully or almost completely removing humanity from the warehouse.

RightHand Robotics is providing a robot that can quickly and accurately pick individual items and place them in bins or boxes.

This means that instead of bringing large bins to human workers to pick out the individual items, both steps of the process could be automated.  For many tasks, human labor will be freed up by this automation step to do tasks robots cannot yet complete.

What does that mean for us in the California workers’ comp field?

Well, for one thing, the cost of living will hopefully see a decrease as fulfillment for Amazon and everyone else will get cheaper.

But, more importantly, the nature of the labor force will likely see a shift (as appears to be the trend).  We can see more demand for high-skilled and probably less dangerous jobs such as designing and maintaining these robots, and fewer of the jobs the robots are intended to replace, such as warehouse workers.  The average wage in California might go up, and the likelihood of a claim will probably go down.

All in all, dear readers, a good thing, don’t you think?

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