Automate

Robots are taking over in the corona-conomy as human contact gets more risky

Friday, August 14, 2020 by Robinhood Snacks |
_The robots are multiplying_

The robots are multiplying

The robots are coming... Well, more of them are. While humans risk catching coronavirus, aluminum machines don't. Automation, which has been increasing for years, is majorly accelerating in the corona-conomy. Robotic usage among retailers in US locations reportedly jumped 14% from January to March (compared to the same period last year) and a whopping 24% from April to June.

WALL-E's LinkedIn headline... "Well-rounded automaton, open to all opportunities." The robots don't discriminate when it comes to industries. Companies in a wide range of sectors are loading up on automation to meet their pandemic needs. A few major bot-stars:

  • Cleaning: Neo is a 4-foot-tall, 1K-pound robot floor scrubber for large commercial buildings. Neo sales have 2X'd since the shutdowns in March. Meanwhile, Softbank's corporate carpet cleaner Whiz has been sold 10K times since November.
  • Food Service: MisoRobotics' Flippy is the burger-grilling bot hired by White Castle last month. Sally, Chowbotics' salad-making robot, saw 60% more sales since COVID hit.
  • Childcare: Moxie is the adorable robot that teaches kids at home with "what eerily resembles human empathy." With kids doing school from home and parents losing their minds, Moxie could sell out when it launches this fall (even at the $1.5K price tag).
THE TAKEAWAY

This could hurt economic recovery even more... While automation and robotics is a safer bet for businesses from a health perspective, the bot-acceleration could make the unemployment situation worse. Despite the improving unemployment rate, the US still hasn't brought back even half of the ~22M jobs lost since March. Some estimate that over 80% of restaurant jobs could potentially be taken over by automation β€” Food service, cleaning, and delivery workers are particularly vulnerable.