The online retail boom means more warehouse workers and robots to accompany them.


The online retail boom means more warehouse workers and robots with them.

What you buy online may first be in the hands of selectors. These are the workers in the warehouse. They choose, pack and ship all the goods we ordered.

At amazon and other companies, they work alongside robots. Although robots are replacing some human workers, experts say they are not ready to take over.

To meet the growing demand for rapid delivery, the distribution industry is recruiting more buyers. On the outskirts of the gulf, a school is using technology to train students for new tasks.

Patterson high school is about two hours east of San Francisco. It is surrounded by farmland in the central valley of California, which produces half the country’s fruit, vegetables and nuts. But the students did not learn how to become farmers. They work in the warehouse.

In field and computer science.

All technical considerations

In field and computer science.

Recently, Ms. Hilario Garcia was instructing students to sit on a virtual reality forklift simulator. The machine is part of a simulated warehouse built for vocational courses to train students like Justin Lockhart.

He said he appreciated the fact, especially in agricultural towns. “It’s now a huge logistics and distribution center,” Lockhart said, including the amazon plant. The giant online retailer operates one of a dozen distribution centers.

Stanislaus county has been struggling with unemployment. But since 2000, storage and transportation has more than doubled, from 4,000 to more than 9,000. Workers flow goods to customers, mostly in the richer urban areas of the north and west.

Mariela Zepeda works at the local CVS distribution center. Her nimble fingers slid from the bottle into the condom box. She must act quickly to make these orders. The company followed her progress.

“It’s hard work, but it’s definitely better than fast food chains or something like that,” she said.



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First, give more. Part-time college student Zepeda says she earns $14.79 an hour. The company claims entry-level hourly wages of $11 to $14, sometimes with benefits. Zepeda says this is a good start, but it doesn’t mean you can support home work – not Patterson. Its proximity to the gulf means housing is not cheap.

“I myself Maybe I can leave, “zepada said. “But if you want to support a family, it’s not, I don’t think so. I think this is true in many places. “

Shelley Burcham is the economic development manager for Tracy, another distribution center for Paterson that lasts 30 minutes. “We know that citizens need these entry-level jobs, or that’s their skill,” she said. “But we want to do well.”

Burcham wants to work. Tracy can build a community. The payments are enough to allow people to have their own homes and support their families. Work in technology and high skill manufacturing. At present, most people living in Tracy do not work here.

“About 70 percent of our workforce actually works from Tracy every day,” Mr. Bocham said. “They went to the gulf.”


All technical considerations

Amazon releases robotic armies to send your vacation packages faster.

Paterson and Tracy are just two of many small towns that have become distribution centers for feeding urban centers. Outside New York City, New York City, New York City, Los Angeles river and other areas. While the company continues to hire human buyers for its warehouses, they also automate their work.

The amazon performance center in Tracy is huge — about a million square feet, or 28 football fields. Visiting it is like walking through a giant machine. Thousands of miles of conveyor belts move countless yellow plastic boxes according to customer orders.

“It’s part of the amazon symphony,” said amazon spokeswoman ASHLEY Robinson. (amazon is one of NPR’s financial backers.)

Only the conductor of this symphony is a computer. It tracks everything in the repository and provides it to you and your customers as soon as possible.

Robots move shelves at amazon’s amazon fulfillment center in Tracy, California. When the robot finds its storage unit, it slides down, lifts it up and passes it on to the worker.

Orange robot, which looks like a large square hockey puck, allows customers to order online. Robots slide through a maze of thousands of storage units around the warehouse – shelves full of everything from books to paper towels to board games or zombies.

When the robot finds its storage unit, it slides down, lifts it up and passes it to the workers-they’re called pickers. On a recent day, the computer told the selector to grab what looked like a fantasy board game. The pickup finds it, scans it and places it on the conveyor belt.

“In traditional performance centers, employees can go to different places and it can take hours to complete customer orders,” Robinson said.

Now, with the help of robots, the task takes only a few minutes – and the human population shrinks.

Does this mean we are entering a new industrial revolution?

Researchers have taken a big step toward intelligent control of robots.

All technical considerations


“It definitely requires a lot of work,” says Karen myers, a scientist at SRI, one of silicon valley’s oldest research centres.

“At the same time, we are overcoming the limitations of technology,” she said. Select the selector in amazon’s operations center. Myers says these skills have proven unique.

“Our fingers are very nimble and this generation of robotic manipulators is getting better and better,” she said. “But they haven’t arrived yet.”

And the robot brain.

Remember the board game amazon employees were looking for? She could hardly see the box – it was stuffed into a locker – but she could say it was a board game. Robots cannot do this.

Technicians say humans are increasingly working side-by-side with robots – not alone.

Amazon says robots and humans have enabled Tracy’s warehouse to fulfill customer orders faster. That means more customers and more people.


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