Ocado is ready to roll out a “C-3PO” robotic in its closely automated warehouses because it seeks to cut back its reliance on human employees.
Whereas the EU-funded “SecondHands” robotic has been in comparison with the Star Wars favorite, it rolls on wheels slightly than strolling on legs.
A prototype has arrived on the Ocado Know-how robotics analysis lab, the place it will likely be experimented on to check completely different options.
It’s hoped the robots will assist enhance productiveness on the dozens of warehouses Ocado has throughout the UK.
The corporate’s head workplaces are in Hatfield in Hertfordshire, and it additionally has a presence in Poland, Bulgaria, and Spain – nonetheless it has confronted criticism for the variety of automated methods its warehouses make use of.
The corporate itself has stated that the funding in automation will not be an try to switch individuals, however to “take away a component of a technician’s job that’s bodily demanding, boring or disagreeable”.
“We’re eradicating the bodily labour however you’ll nonetheless want the human,” the corporate stated. “The thought is that they work collectively and are extra productive as a pair.”
Financial forecasts counsel that automation will result in the lack of jobs, nonetheless.
A report final 12 months by PwC stated that round 10 million employees have been liable to shedding their jobs to robots over the subsequent 15 years.
The report stated as much as round 30% of current UK jobs have been vulnerable to automation by the 2030s.
Sectors equivalent to transport and manufacturing have been stated to be dealing with the most important threat, with half of jobs at “potential excessive threat” of disappearing, in response to the evaluation.
In response to the World Robotics Report, installations of robots in industrial settings are set to develop 15% in 2018.