The impact of driverless trucks on the U.S. warehouse market

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The legendary war philosopher Sun Tzu famously said, “The line between disorder and order lies in logistics.” Logistics is all about efficiency, and in today’s e-commerce-challenged supply chain, efficiency has been blown up to a large extent. Supply chains across industries, particularly in the retail-to-end-user world, have been undergoing complete reinvention for the better part of a decade.

Supply chain disruption resulting from e-commerce is rooted in the push to an omnichannel delivery model: Retailers are working hard to adapt to consumer demand to buy anywhere, accept delivery anywhere and return anywhere. Five-to-seven-day delivery is being replaced by one-to-two-day delivery, and the quest for the holy grail of low-cost, same-day or even two-hour delivery is stressing the old retail supply chain model. Failure to adopt an omnichannel strategy usually means death, as the many recently bankrupt retailers would surely attest.

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Amazon built an electronic vest to improve worker/robot interactions

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Over the course of the last year, Amazon began rolling out a new worker safety wearable to 25+ sites. From the looks of it, the Robotic Tech Vest is really more like a pair of suspenders attached to an electronic utility belt. The Amazon Robotics-designed product was created to keep workers safe when they need to enter a space in order to fix a robotic system or retrieve fallen items. Built-in sensors alert Amazon’s robotic systems to the wearer’s presence, and they slow down to avoid collision.

The vest is designed to work in tandem with the robots’ existing obstacle avoidance detection.

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Welcome to the automated warehouse of the future

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They call it “the hive,” or “the grid.” Or sometimes just: “the machine.” It’s a huge structure that fills a warehouse on the outskirts of Andover, a small and quiet town in southeast England. It’s impossible to take in at a single glance, but standing on a maintenance walkway near the building’s rafters, you look over what seems to be a huge chessboard, populated entirely by robots. There are more than a thousand of them, each the size and shape of a washing machine, and they wheel about, night and day, moving groceries. Their job is to be cheaper and more efficient than humans, and they are very good at it.

The hive-grid-machine is the creation of Ocado, a British online-only supermarket that’s made a name for itself in recent years designing highly automated warehouses and selling the tech to other grocery chains. When fully up and running, Ocado’s Andover operation will be its most advanced yet, processing 3.5 million items or around 65,000 orders every week. It’s also a perfect example of the wave of automation slowly hitting countries around the world. The tasks being undertaken by Ocado’s bots are so basic they’re best described by simple verbs — “lifting,” “moving,” “sorting” — and that means they exist in various forms in a range of industries. And when the price is right, someone will want a machine to do those jobs, too.

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Amazon to hire 5,000 for full-time warehouse jobs in the U.S.

An Amazon.com warehouse.

Amazon.com Inc has unveiled a new hiring spree on Monday that will fill more than 5,000 new  full-time jobs at 17 of its fulfillment centers across the United States.   This is ahead of a visit by President Barack Obama to one of the Internet retailer’s giant distribution warehouses this week.

 

 

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Retired Subway Cars Used For London Artists

Retired Subway Cars Used For London Artists

Young London artists looking for cheap studio space in an expensive city are turning their eyes toward subway cars – though those eyes would be looking up, not down. That’s because these retired subway cars are actually on top of a warehouse-turned-art-gallery in Shoreditch, London, where they offer a sparse, multi-purpose space for artists who pay an oh-so-cheap $30 a month. Auro Foxcroft, the mind behind Village Underground, even got a sweet deal on the cars: £800 for four of them.

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