Categories: News

Japan Uses Remote Control Robots to Address Labor Shortage

If there is a problem that could potentially be fixed with robots, then it’s not exactly surprising that Japan would be one of the first countries to try it out! – As you may or may not be aware, however, ironically Japan’s biggest issue at the moment in terms of its workforce isn’t the supply of robots, it’s more to do with (relatively young) physical human beings! – Put simply, there’s not enough of them!

For the last 10-20 years, with an increasingly aging population, Japan has a major problem in terms of labor. Put simply, there are too many jobs and not enough (young) workers to fill them. In order to attempt to address this, however, one Japanese supermarket has utilized remote control robots and VR technology to try and help get products on shelves!

Remote Control Robots to Address Japan’s Labor Shortage!

Now, I know what you’re thinking because it’s the same initial thought both my wife and I had. How is employing someone to remotely control a robot going to be a better solution than simply hiring someone? – Well, as above, Japan is currently struggling in terms of having enough people to fill all of the available jobs and more so, vacancies in particular regions are not suited to the people living there. This technology does, therefore, offer a rather interesting solution in that someone can be hired for a role at the supermarket while being able to potentially live hundreds of miles away from the actual store!

When you put the idea into that context, it actually makes a lot of sense. A store in Tokyo can hire a worker in Kyoto and all they need for him to carry out his work is a robot, internet connection, and to supply him with a VR headset.

What Do We Think?

Following the official announcement by Telexistence (the designer of the robots), it is hoped that this trial collaboration with Japanese supermarket chain ‘FamilyMart’ will lead to helping the company address their labor shortfall and, of course, the all-important task of keeping products ready to purchase on shelves.

Yes, it might not be a permanent nor indeed entirely practical solution, but you have to love Japan for at least being willing to try this out!

What do you think? – Let us know in the comments!

Mike Sanders

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