’Tis the Season for Surge Robots as Holiday Hiring Finds Automation

By Jennifer Smith | The Wall Street Journal | October 28, 2019

The holiday hiring frenzy is under way and robots are joining the rush to seasonal jobs.

Retailers and logistics operators facing a tight labor market are ramping up automation at warehouses for the holidays, when online order volumes can surge tenfold as consumers load up digital shopping carts in the weeks around Thanksgiving and Christmas.

To cope, some businesses are ordering up extra fleets of collaborative robots, or “cobots,” that use cameras, lasers and sensors to navigate warehouse aisles and lead workers to the right shelves or to shuttle bins full of products between workstations. Many are available for lease.

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