Some estimate that in the future Amazon could be the first to utilize the robotic technology that continues to develop over the years. Amazon’s new high-tech supermarket might possibly be operated by only three humans. Three workers is even less than most supermarkets around today. In fact, according to Amazon the maximum number of employees required to work in its supermarket is only ten.
Amazon’s future supermarket is estimated to be a three-story building that has an expansion of 10,000 to 40,000 square feet. Aside from the shoppers and the minimum number of human workers, the supermarket would be heavily dependent on robots.
Back in December, Amazon launched a prototype supermarket, which it called Amazon Go. Since then Amazon has expanded the smaller Amazon Go stores into larger facilities. However, Amazon Go wasn’t a smash hit for those grocery store workers who stood to lose their jobs if consumers turned to the new Amazon Go store instead of other supermarkets.
Either Amazon’s grocery store or the supermarket will be completely dependent on robotic technology. There will be no lines, registers, or even cashiers. Rather than go through all that, customers will rely on an app on their phones. The app would know which items were removed from the shelf for purchase.
The robots that would basically run the store would be stationed on the upper level. The robots would be able to find and pack items for customers on the lower level. The lower level of the supermarket would contain products that customers tend to touch and want to see before purchase like fruit, meat, vegetables, and eggs. There is also the possibility of an Amazon Pharmacy according to a source form the New York Post who also states that Amazon is considering entering into the business.
However, despite all the talk about this futuristic robotic supermarket, Amazon has denied ever considering the plan. A spokesperson said, “As we’ve said previously, it’s not correct. We have no plans to build such a store.”
However, even though Amazon says this, robots are already present in warehouses. Amazon warehouses have begun popping up all over the country. Amazon even announced that it would be building a new one in Baltimore which proved some 180,000 full-time jobs.
Robots, though, are a large presence in the warehouse where millions of products listed on the company’s website are stored. Amazon even bumped up its robot use back in 2016 when it brought on 45,000 to about 20 of its facilities.
The idea sounds fascinating and exiting as we step further into a new age of technological dependence. Yet it was reported by the World Economic Forum that robots and AI would be replacing an estimated 5 million human jobs by the year 2020.