The 901: Why companies are purchasing more robots, hiring less people

Read the Story

Show Top Comments

Cuz its more profitable in the long run and you reduce the cost of labor


I work in packaging automation, including occasionally programming and commissioning robots for simple tasks (better robot programmers handle the more complex ones). Mostly I’m a full line integrator. Early in my career I had some moral doubts about the possibility that I was costing people their jobs. Then I went to Indonesia for a couple of months to install a line. The customer hadn’t bothered to get a palletizer where ordinarily they would need one … the casepacker was just spitting out cases onto gravity rollers onto the floor where a two man team was doing the palletizing by hand. Each case weighed about 15 pounds. Each pallet had 30 cases. The line spat out a case about every 12 seconds on average and there was nothing fundamentally preventing it from running 24/7. About every 6 minutes one of them would take the hand cart and roll the pallet away while the other guy worked solo starting the next pallet. Hour after hour, day after day, month after month, that was the job. In Indonesia, in a warehouse with no climate control. Now I have pangs of guilt about *not* automating that job. Robots excel at repetitive, simple tasks, far more than humans do. If a robot can do it, I think a human shouldn’t be asked to. There are better uses for the human body and brain. It is the job of society to adjust to shifting labor paradigms. Sooner or later I think a universal basic income will be necessary and we need to very proactively combating the extreme inequality that can and does result from this shift. But don’t tell me the robots are the problem.


Good. The robots can work all the menial labor jobs so the rest of us can focus on starting our own businesses. Once we’re all CEOs America will finally be great


Maybe a robot would know that it’s “hiring *fewer* people.” Also, that website gave me eye cancer.


Because the wages on offer are either too low to be economically viable or not competitive enough to attract workers. And robots don’t catch covid.