Human Labor or Complete Automation?
As companies constantly innovate to stay ahead of the competition in this capitalist economy, companies have been automatizing their production process to increase overall efficiency. There are many advantages to switching over to machines but it doesn’t come without a few costs. Some people worry about job loss, but as with any new innovation or machine, less workers are needed for increased production. One of the ways companies are automatizing is by using self guided vehicles.
Self guided vehicles have many advantages. They can dramatically increase production quality and output speed. AGVs have high repeatability and perform applications with constant precision. They do not sleep, go on vacation, take breaks and can accomplish more than a human worker. Workplace safety is increase because human workers are moved to supervisory roles. This means they no longer have to perform dangerous tasks in hazardous or toxic settings. Financial savings ensue because worker safety is increased and AGVs don’t require health insurance.
There are a few disadvantages to using machines like AGVs over humans. The required initial investments are usually pretty large. Although there is no need to provide benefits, regular maintenance can create a financial toll. Also, without good planning, incorporating robots into a production system doesn’t always guarantee results. Employees will also have to be trained how to work and interact with the new equipment. Although normally safer, the presence of robots can create some safety problems. It is also very difficult to make machines that can accomplish tasks that require fine detail.
The ideal situation would be where humans and robots can work together. This will secure higher paying jobs and create an efficient and cost-effective system for the manufacturer. For work that requires fine detail, humans will have robot aids. Something similar to Tony Stark’s robots in Iron Man. Technology is already in development where robots will learn the habits of their human partner. They will then determine what the best way to help would be.