Worker-Robot Collaboration in the Warehouse: The Importance of Mobile Connectivity

With the advent of IoT-enabled devices, access to real-time data and digital transformation at an all-time high, companies like Amazon have shown that robotics and automation technology have an important place in retail warehouse environments. Others have quickly followed suit, automating warehouses with robotics from the ground up. For these interconnected systems to relay real-time data between industrial robots and the human workforce, mobile connectivity and devices are key.

Today, human and robot workforces are collaborating to increase productivity and help move goods efficiently throughout the supply chain. Strategizing the facility mobile network infrastructure as well as the mobile devices (such as handhelds and tablets) for the workforce is imperative to ensure seamless coordination of the robotics and entire automated ecosystem supporting the supply chain.

While the use of robotics reduces the need for human labor in some areas, the fact is that all aspects of the supply chain are highly complex and unpredictable environments, which require human oversight. Understandably, the human workforce has questions about their robot colleagues.

  • How will continued advances in robotics technology impact the workforce?
  • How will robots further affect warehouses of the future and potentially alter the supply chain process?
  • What technologies are on the horizon that we need to prepare for now?

To answer these questions and discuss the ways that mobile solutions can be used in the warehouse to optimize the use of robotics and the entire automated ecosystem supporting the supply chain, Slashdot Media Technology Editor Michael Krieger recently sat down with Jim Dempsey, National Sales Manager at Panasonic TOUGHBOOK mobility solutions.