Will Robots Replace Warehouse Workers?

01.24.24 | Job Search, Skilled Trades

If you work in a warehouse, you’re probably already aware of the technological revolution that is disrupting how warehouses operate. You may be working with sophisticated software systems, and you might already have robots working alongside you. This can lead to an understandable concern about whether warehouse robots will eventually replace warehouse workers altogether. Here’s what you should know.

Robots Can Perform Dangerous Tasks

One of the biggest advantages of warehouse robots is their ability to perform dangerous job duties. Stacking shelves, retrieving items from high storage, and similar tasks are responsible for a large percentage of warehouse accidents each year. Sending robots to do these jobs can help keep warehouse workers safer and healthier.

Robots Can Help Manage Workloads

Artificial intelligence is very good at crunching a lot of data and making reasonably accurate predictions. Your warehouse robots are likely tied into a system that uses predictive data to determine how many to deploy each day and where they should go. This can help smooth operations and keep productivity high, even on very busy days.

Robots Must Be Controlled by Humans

However, robots are not able to think for themselves. They’re only as good as the data they receive. Human programmers are responsible for setting up the robots, assigning them to their duties, and managing their work. Humans must always monitor them, ensuring that they don’t go off track and performing quality control. Errors and glitches are not uncommon, especially when they are set for more complicated routines.

Fully Autonomous Robots Are the Stuff of Science Fiction

Like self-driving cars, fully autonomous robots are not yet ready for primetime. And it’s quite possible that they never will be. Those robots working alongside you are not as sophisticated as they might appear, and they are certainly nowhere near ready to take over the warehouse. Your job duties might evolve over the next several years as robotics technology is refined, but it’s doubtful that artificial intelligence will ever get to the point of replacing human workers altogether.

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