Welcome to the warehouse of tomorrow, where robots have their hands



He plunges his arm into a white crate that scrolls on a conveyor belt, takes out canned mackerel, places them in open plastic bags in three purple crates, and presses a buzzer. Put his hand in a new white crate, grab some boxes of Kleenex, put them down, and push down again. Repeat with paper towels, sodas, yogurts. One might think that these repetitive gestures are performed by a robot but no, they are by an “operator”. A man in his twenties, hefty, a helmet on his head. We dare not interrupt to ask him his first name, he is visibly focused to keep up. In this state-of-the-art warehouse, machines set the pace for the preparation of customers’ baskets. When his “picker” counterparts roam the aisles of hypermarkets or traditional warehouses, to prepare each order placed online one by one, our operator remains on site. Standing on an anti-vibration board supposed to make his job less painful, he fills the bags of three customers at the same time, following the instructions displayed on the screen and making sure to compose balanced sets to facilitate the work of the delivery man.

It is above his head that it is agitated. A troop of a hundred small white robots, rectangular R2-D2 style with a green loupiote on their heads, move on a checkerboard at full speed – 5 meters per second. They circulate on top of a sort of Ru

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