In January, Sanctuary AI robots successfully performed a variety of retail tasks normally performed by human employees at Mark’s apparel store outside Vancouver, Canada.
Humanoid machines worked under the guidance of human workers, so creating the moment didn’t hurt the job, and kept the role of wrestling robots out of venture capital.
The store, owned by retail chain Canadian Tire Corporation (CTC), saw machine interns handle 110 different retail-related activities before and after the store during a week-long pilot test. These include product picking and packing, point of sale replenishment, cleaning, tagging, labeling, store display compliance and folding. These tasks were previously only demonstrated in the Sanctuary AI Lab set up to mirror a store.
Welcome to Working Life, Tsubomi … Sanctuary AI’s Retail Robot. Source: Sanctuary AI
Geordie Rose, co-founder and CEO of Sanctuary AI, said in a statement Tuesday that the company’s general-purpose robots “perform many necessary but rudimentary tasks that people find unsatisfactory or disadvantageous.” He expressed his enthusiasm for the results.
One of the commonly cited goals of AI systems is to handle mundane tasks, freeing human workers to take on more demanding creative tasks.
Cari Covent, vice president of data, analytics and AI at CTC, said in a statement:
Critics of these systems often argue that the purpose behind automation is to free companies from costly and demanding employees.
But in this example, the human worker just moved from behind the counter to behind the keyboard. The robot was remotely controlled by a human caretaker. Rose didn’t say whether the robot’s pilots were frustrated with picking, packing or tagging.
It’s not clear if Mark’s robot would be economical if permanently deployed. says so. Complexity of tasks that need to be performed. ”
covent said register “Canadian Tire Corporation has invested in cutting-edge technology, including robotics, for many tasks across its business. It confirms the need to keep them engaged, so that they can focus on higher value work.”
Sanctuary AI is a Vancouver-based robotics company that aims to “create the world’s first human-like intelligence in a general-purpose robot. It helps us meet challenges and helps us work in a safer, more efficient and sustainable way.”
Ultimately, the company hopes that the robot will operate autonomously, based on a common sense model of the world. But getting there requires human guidance.
“One of the key elements of our approach is learning from demonstrations. Demonstration examples are provided by humans in a loop-controlled paradigm called analogous teleoperation,” the company explains. “This style of control puts a human on what we call a pilot rig, sends sensory data from the robot to the human, and translates that human’s actions into actions that the robot will perform.”
Sanctuary AI aims to create autonomous robots, starting with humanoid machines operated by people and technology from various partners. Cycorp, the maker of the Cyc machine inference platform. Apptronik, makers of robots designed to work with or around people. His CSM, an AI-assisted environment for coding 3D applications. Contoro, a manufacturer of remote control rigs. Haptx, makers of industrial haptic gloves. others.
When asked about the challenges in creating robots that operate autonomously, Reed said, “There are two big scientific challenges that need to be overcome to create this technology. First, we need to create a general-purpose robot. It had the same form and function as a human.We place great emphasis on hand development. You can’t really create a humanoid robot without it…like a hand.”
“The second big scientific challenge is to fully understand the human mind to incorporate general-purpose robots into machines that can be operated remotely. In addition to news of the deployment, we have a blog that provides more information on both. We have also published the hardware and software here.”
The impact of robots on employment is complex and not always easy to predict. A recent research paper distributed by the National Bureau of Economic Research examines how industrial robots impacted Dutch businesses and workers in his 2009-2020 period. It found that while companies employing robots are realizing benefits, their competitors are not. Also, among the workers, directly affected workers who were doing day-to-day work saw their wages fall, while others benefited indirectly from employment with productivity gains.
reed said register“Our goal is to improve the quality of the overall work experience and make work safer, more efficient and more sustainable. It is being used to help those who do and create new jobs (robot pilots, supervisors, and technicians), bringing new opportunities to those who may not be able to do physical work, and empowering the global workforce. Mitigate the impact of shortages.In the United States alone, there were more than 11 million job openings.
Covent says: At the same time, it can certainly fill some positions that are difficult to attract and retain, such as picking and packing e-commerce goods at night. ”
When employees asked what they thought of their robot colleagues, Covent provided a few comments. One of his employees said, “I think this technology will benefit Mark’s and its subsidiaries by streamlining a lot of things caused by human error, such as taking inventory. Using robots means that things can go wrong.” It’s like counting items and streamlining a lot of things.”
Another said, “As technology advances, this is going to become normal. I’ve been in the store for a week and it seems normal. I don’t think I’ll ever see something like this in my lifetime.” I didn’t think so, I think…it just becomes normal.” ®