Here’s the latest on Amazon’s Warehouse Robots, 3D Printing, Delivery Robots, and Cargo Drones
One of the things I'd like to talk to you about is, in fact, the future being brought to us by exponential technologies. Science and research that are bringing to us incredible innovations that are going to impact virtually every aspect of life on our planet. Amazon warehouses now have more than 350,000 robots. Mckinsey says the warehouse automation market is going to grow 23% per year for the rest of the decade. This is a huge investment opportunity.
And just consider some of the robots that are being developed right now. Ocado's 600 Series Robot looks like a box on wheels. Half of its components are 3D printed. And that means, by the way, 3D printing is another exponential technology to invest in. By making a robot with 3D printing, the robot is five times lighter than the company's current robots, and that means that the 600 series is more agile, needs less battery power to move around. The robot runs around the warehouse, brings crates to human workers who take the items that they need out of the box. If a human wandered around the warehouse to collect each of those items, it would take an hour for them to fill one order. But a robot, they can do it in less than 5 minutes. This is exponential.
Robots are radically accelerating the ability to generate productivity, dramatically reducing the time that it takes to complete tasks. So in warehouses, what jobs are going to remain? In the warehouse floor? Mainly technicians who maintain those robots. In fact, there's a joke about this, about the factory of the future. Picture of this really big factory. And inside there's only one guy and a dog. The guy's job is to feed the dog, and the dog's job is to make sure the guy doesn't touch anything. This is pretty much the future.
Now, does this sound scary? All the job losses that will occur from the factory workers losing their jobs? Well, I don't know. Is that the kind of a job you want to have anyway? What these robots are able to do is get rid of the boring tasks, the repetitive tasks, you know, the kinds of tasks that cause repetitive motion injuries. Who wants to engage in that kind of labor that is boring and dull and repetitive? Robots are taking the dull out of business. Now you can get a job as a robot technician. More interesting work, more money, less physically demanding. What's not to love?
And it's not just robots on the factory floor and the warehouse floor that we're going to see them. We're already seeing sidewalk robots. It's going to be $1 billion business within 20 years. These sidewalk robots are already the size of a suitcase. They travel on four or six wheels. They're already delivering groceries throughout America, China and Europe. Robots from Starship Technologies have already made 2.5 million deliveries on university campuses and throughout business parks. They move pretty slow, about four miles per hour. No worry that they're going to bump into something unexpectedly.
They're getting bigger, though. One company is making a delivery bot that's as big as a car. It can carry 24 bags of groceries and has chilled and heated compartments for food and drinks. And bigger yet - autonomous cargo drones as big as a 747. Nautilus, has $6 billion in orders for 440 of these aircraft. The company says its design can fit 60% more cargo than existing aircraft, while cutting costs 60% and generating 50% less carbon emissions. You know, moving freight by sea is 13 times cheaper than moving freight by air, but by sea takes 50 times as long. Just imagine sending a ship across the ocean compared to an airplane. But if we can reduce the cost dramatically, air cargo transportation becomes more competitive.
Well, how is this company doing this? They have completely redesigned the airplane. Most planes, think about it - it's a tube, hollow tube. That's where we all sit. That's where the cargo goes. You've got a hollow tube. And then the wings, we sit inside the tube and the wings get attached to generate lift. This company is now making a blended wing body design. It merges the wings and the tube. The body is much wider and much flatter than traditional airplanes. Kind of looks like a manta ray. This new design is more efficient for fuel and dramatically holds more capacity for cargo.
And then there's a company called Destinées, a Swiss company. They just got $29 million in funding to build a jet that can travel anywhere in the world in 2 hours or less. They're developing a hydrogen rocket engine. They plan to be doing testing in two years. The vehicle is a hybrid between an airplane and a rocket. It takes off and lands horizontally, but then it reaches hypersonic velocity and the only thing it emits is water. Airbus is also designing an aircraft on this technology. Robots ranging from tiny little machines that travel college campuses to 747s, all coming to our future. The innovations being created in the field of exponential technologies. I talk about all of it in my book, The Truth About Your Future.