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Rise of the robots: What advances mean for workers

It's about the size and shape of a photocopier.

Emitting a gentle whirring noise, it travels across the warehouse floor while two arms raise or lower themselves on scissor lifts, ready for the next task.

Each arm has a camera on its knuckle. The left one eases a cardboard box forward on the shelf, the right reaches in and extracts a bottle.

Like many new robots, it's from Japan. Hitachi showcased it in 2015 and hopes to be selling it by 2020.

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It's not the only robot that can pick a bottle off a shelf - but it's as close as robots have yet come to performing this seemingly simple task as speedily and dextrously as a good old-fashioned human.

One day, robots like this might replace warehouse workers altogether.

For now, humans and machines run warehouses together.

Kiva robots move racks of merchandise around an Amazon warehouseThere are already 45,000 Kiva robots at work in Amazon warehouses (Image credit: AFP)

In Amazon depots, Kiva robots scurry around, not picking things off shelves, but carrying the shelves to humans for them to select things.

In this way, Kiva robots can improve efficiency up to fourfold.

Robots and humans work side-by-side in factories, too.

Factories have had robots since 1961, when General Motors installed the first Unimate, a one-armed automaton that was used for...Read more...

Source: bbc.com