A New Designed Tech Vest At Amazon Warehouse Will Help Protect Workers From Getting Killed By The Robots.
This is a newly designed “Robotic Tech Vest”. It is an electric utility belt that attaches to suspenders. The belt has built-in sensors that alert robots of a human’s presence. Robots were first introduced to Amazon warehouses in 2012. According to a statement by the company,
“ Robots increase efficiency and safety at fulfillment centers. They make it possible to store 40% more inventory, which in turn makes it easier to fulfill Amazon Prime and other orders on time since it’s likely an item will run out.”
Amazon has over 100,000 robots who are designed to help with packages and moving large pallets of merchandise.
Now, the problem or dangerous situation occurs when a human accidentally enters a robot’s working grid area. The robots are not aware of a human in its way and this thus creates a dangerous situation. The new Tech Vest allows the robots to detect a human from far away so then it can re-route or change its work grid.
In December it was reported that 54 Amazon workers at a warehouse in New Jersey suffered the effects of being sprayed with bear repellant. 24 of the workers needed to be hospitalized and one was even in critical condition.
The accident happened when a robot accidentally tore open a can of bear spray in a warehouse, said officials at the scene.
Amazon has been criticized for its labor practices. The Amazon workers do not have a union but Stuart Appelbaum, the president of Retail,Wholesale and Department Store Union had this to say on the day of the bear spray accident, “Amazon’s automated robots put humans in life-threatening danger today, the effects of which could be catastrophic and the long- term effects for 80+ workers are unknown. The richest company in the world cannot continue to be let off the hook for putting hard working people’s lives at risk.”
So accidents do happen. We think that of course there is a risk of an accident happening with human error at play, but evidently, robots aren’t perfect either.