The rise in robotics and what the future holds is a topic well-documented across the web and in the news in recent years, but really, should we be scared or opportunistic about such a transition into the ‘robot age’? Illustrating the power and potential of having a large dependency on robotics is Uniqlo and such a Japanese brand is a fantastic example of how robotics could really benefit (though, also scare) society.
Opening their Ariake (Japan) offices and distribution unit back in 2015, Uniqlo’s warehouse was known to be plagued with all sorts of problems and inefficiencies. With an overhaul of such a building since then, the final result of three long years of development, construction and change was released to the public in a press conference last week; in summation, 90% of the warehouse workforce has been entirely replaced by automation and robots. Wow. See below a promotional video of inside the new warehouse:
As you can see, crates are shown to be lifted from ceiling-high shelves by robotic cranes whilst boxes travel quickly along conveyor belts to be sorted in all sorts of channels and trays; there is only one human interaction during the entire process which is the individualised packing of customer packages. With everything from inventory management, storage, box assembly and network distribution all done by robots, isn’t this all a sight to behold?
Such a warehouse overhaul has been undertaken by a partnership between Uniqlo and Daifuku and together have already begun wider work on all of Uniqlo’s network of factories located in China, Thailand, Australia and USA. Is this the future of all warehouses across the world? Whilst it might be terrifying that there will be an obvious human redundancy bill attached to this transitional process, ultimately the process of moving any object from A to B is meaningless and ought to never be undertaken by humans at all, particularly as all associated effort is only ever rewarded with low pay and long hours. As such, should we not all be thankful that technology is finally coming around to automate such processes and allow us humans to focus on more creative, better and more progressive jobs that might revolutionise this world? A future full of problems which brands, companies, politicians and activists are all trying to solve, should there not be such negativity on robots at all? What do you think?
Discover more about the clothing brand online at: Uniqlo.com
Robots, Are They The Future?The SATORI & SCOUT team think that everyone should now accept that the wider use of robots is absolutely the future that we're headed, but equally so, our team believe that so much opportunity exists beyond the black and white fundamentals
(Photography Credit : QUARTZ)