The separation between humans and robots on the workplace used to be quite rigid to ensure workers’ safety. More and more robots are designed to operate in the same space of humans but sometimes this may cause problems to both humans (robots bumping on them) and robots (humans stepping over them).
Amazons is employing over 100,000 robots in its warehouses (yes you read it correctly – hundred thousands, that is one robot for every 5 workers) and the mutual tripping over happens. Well, it seems it won’t happen anymore. Amazon Research developed a vest (just breaches with a small bag attached) serving as a beacon, able to signal robots that are roaming in the area the presence of a worker. Actually the system is smarter than that. It can work out the moving pattern of the worker and based on that the robot can redraw its path, saving time and energy.
I found this news interesting because it shows that we are starting to share out world with robots and we need to find a way to coexist (happily and safely).