Re: Amazon Robotics: IoT In The Warehouse
Don't get me wrong - I'm nothing if not amazed by the scale of this deployment. Just like with AWS, I wouldn't be surprised if Amazon is at the forefront of something that's set to become the standard. The fact that most of us didn't even know it was going on (I wasn't, at least) adds to the cool factor substantially. I think you're right about the cost, too - in software terms, this seems more like a closed alpha test.
You know, I've worked in a retail environment in many capacities. Although those might be the first jobs many would expect on the chopping block in the automated future, I've found there's a surprising amount of nuance there that robots might not be suited to (for some time). How does a robot stocker handle spills or detect damaged items? How can it tell whether a shelf is overfilled or if more could be fit by re-arranging? Can it tell if a load is stacked unsafely, and not handle it? These are very subjective decisions that human workers make minute-to-minute. Of course, as you mentioned, there's also the customer service component.