The rise of robots: how they revolutionize the world of work

This episode of The Exchange looks at how robots are revolutionizing the workplace and taking over all major industries. We talk to the CEO of Pazzi, an automated pizzeria, and learn about other companies that benefit from the new developments in robotics. As more and more money flows into technical automation, we ask ourselves whether the use of robots is more likely to create new jobs or whether it will put millions of people out of work for good.

The automation of machines has increased rapidly since the 1960s. And with artificial intelligence, there are more and more ways robotics can improve our lives. In recent years, even typical human interactions have been mechanized.

Pazzi – the robot that bakes pizza

Since the corona pandemic, there has been a global job crisis in the hotel and catering sector. In France, the industry has lost almost 10% of its employees. Robots are increasingly used as waiters and cleaners today, but a restaurant in Paris is taking a different path to automation. The Parisian restaurant uses a robot to solve this staff shortage – the robot Pazzi replaces the chef!

Pazzi, the pizza robot, prepares up to 80 pizzas per hour and then serves them – without human intervention.
The process is simple and transparent: the customer orders at an automatic counter. Then the robot’s articulated arms roll out the dough, apply the sauce, add the organic ingredients and put the pizza in the oven. The pizza is then picked up with a QR code.

Sebastien Roverso is a co-founder of Pazzi. He explains that mastering all the ingredients was the most difficult. The dough is a living element, he says. The fence property therefore has properties that are not constant. Sauces can have different textures, according to Roverso. It is therefore extremely complicated to develop a technology that is able to handle all types of ingredients while respecting the respective products.

Phillip Goldman, CEO of Pazzi Robotics, explains that robotics can make any cooking method much easier, faster and better than chefs. That is the advantage of robotics, which is already used in all kinds of industries, says Goldman. According to the CEO, there is no reason why it should not also be used in the fast food industry.

However, this technology has its price: around 300,000 euros. The founders say that the use of robots allows chefs to spend more money on higher quality ingredients.

Do robots take our jobs from us?

The service industry is just one of many where a high degree of automation can be observed. The world economy even assumes that human workers will be replaced by robots faster than we think. Let’s take a look …

At today’s rate, up to 85 million jobs could be lost by 2025. However, the forum also believes that automation will create more jobs than what is lost. It assumes that 97 million new jobs will be created in the same period. And as entrepreneurs struggle to stay on top, global robotics spending will reach $ 242 billion by next year.

When people and “co-bots” work together

There are companies that are focused on finding out how robots and humans can work together instead of just taking over jobs.
A company at the forefront of automation is ABB. Marc Segura, Head of Robotics at ABB, explains why robots are used in many places these days and not just in huge department stores.

The two most important factors are, on the one hand, e-commerce and, on the other, “co-bots” and their efforts to make robotics available to a larger number of companies – especially small and medium-sized companies. According to Marc Segura, two things need to be lowered. The total cost of ownership and the total cost of integration. And it requires simpler, more dynamic robots that do not need much extra equipment to perform specific tasks.

Slimmer robots with easy operation. Robots that are affordable and easy to install. That is the most important thing, says Segura. It will help many other companies to use robotics and capitalize on the profits it provides, he explains.

So, whether you work in a store, a factory or in an office, having affordable “co-bots” as employees can become the new norm.

No need to worry!

For millions of us who worry that one day we may lose the job of a robot, it’s not really that bad. There are experts who believe that most of us humans will remain relevant for a long time.

Nahia Orduna is from Munich. She is a leading engineer in cloud computing and the author of the book Your Digital Reinvention. She believes that robots will not take people’s jobs.

“85 million jobs may be displaced by a shift in work between machines and humans,” she says, “but 97 million jobs will be created.” And these are the new jobs, tomorrow’s jobs. She tells us about her favorite Italian restaurant in the middle of Munich.

All these human interactions are not in danger, according to Orduna. They would not be automated because the human experience would be at stake.

So when you entrust robots and algorithms with tasks that do not require humans, it means that human abilities can be better used in other ways.

So the fear that robots will take away our jobs is still real and understandable – but the emergence of intelligent and cheap “co-bots” can increase rather than harm the global labor market.

Whether it’s serving pizza, managing projects or packing our bags, the age of the robot colleague may soon arrive in an industry near you.

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