Jun 26, 2017

From warehouse to your door, a human may never touch your online purchase

Greiner with her drone. (Steve Jennings/Getty Images/Creative Commons)

In a decade or so, the package delivery — from the time you click on an item you want until it arrives at your door — will almost never involve a human hand, according to a leading robot developer.

  • Against widespread layoffs of U.S. retail workers, Amazon earlier this year said it's hiring 100,000 new workers in its warehouses over the coming year or so.
  • But Helen Greiner — co-creator of the Roomba home vacuum, one of the best-selling robots of all time, and now CEO of a Massachusetts drone company called CyPhy — suggests that robots will not only hold most warehouse jobs, but also drive delivery trucks and carry packages to your door.
  • Or drones will drop them to you, safely checking for children before shouting out, "Clear the landing area."
  • "It's really not far-fetched because there are companies working on each part of it today," Greiner tells Axios.

She puts a timeframe of 10 to 15 years on end-to-end automated delivery.

How it will work: Greiner says, "There's companies working the fulfillment center robots. Amazon has Amazon Robotics. ... Then you have folks working on self-driving cars and also self-driving trucks that can do the other part of the chain, and then you've got the delivery robots that are going down city streets to deliver the packages. And then deliveries to your hotel room if you forgot your toothbrush. All these are happening today. Now we have to get together and coordinate the entire chain."

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 766,336 — Total deaths: 36,873 — Total recoveries: 160,001.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in confirmed cases. Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 153,246 — Total deaths: 2,828 — Total recoveries: 5,545.
  3. Federal government latest: The White House will extend its social distancing guidelines until April 30 — Rep. Nydia Velázquez diagnosed with "presumed" coronavirus infection.
  4. State updates: Virginia and Maryland issued stay-at-home orders to residents, joining 28 other states — Florida megachurch pastor arrested for refusing to call off mass services.
  5. World updates: Spain's cases exceed China's — Italy reports 1,590 recoveries from the virus, its highest ever.
  6. In photos: Navy hospital ship arrives in Manhattan
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Cuomo: Engaging in politics during coronavirus crisis is "anti-American"

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said during a Monday press briefing that he won't get into a political tussle with President Trump — calling it "counterproductive" and "anti-American" — as his state deals with the most confirmed coronavirus cases in the country.

The backdrop: Trump said during an appearance on "Fox & Friends" earlier Monday that Cuomo has received high polling numbers during the outbreak because New York has received federal aid.

Maryland and Virginia issue coronavirus stay-at-home orders

Data: Axios reporting; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam issued stay-at-home orders on Monday, with exceptions for residents engaged in essential services, including health care and government functions.

The big picture: The states are the latest to announce policies to enforce social distancing, which have affected almost 250 million Americans. More than 1.5 billion people worldwide had been asked to stay home as of last week.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health