Will the Coronavirus Speed up the Replacement of Workers by Robots?

The integration of robots in the production might be expensive, but once they start working, this investment actually pays off.

The pandemic of coronavirus, especially in the countries like Italy and Spain where the situation was the most critical, showed that robots can do as much as humans when it comes to work. One of the benefits of this is the fact that human health is not at risk.

Martin Ford, a futurist who was investigating the incorporation of robots into the economic system says “People usually say they want a human element to their interactions but Covid-19 has changed that. It is going to change consumer preference and really open up new opportunities for automation”.

In fact, smaller and bigger companies around the world are becoming more interested in the robot idea. Especially now, this idea is attractive due to the importance of social distancing of the workers who have to be at their work place. The robots are meant to be used for those workers who cannot do their job from home. To exemplify, the Walmart Company from the USA, uses robots in order to clean the floors. In South Korea, robots are used for distributing hand sanitizers and measuring the temperature.

The fact that the experts warn that social distancing measures will have to be respected throughout the 2021, makes robots even more attractive for many companies.

Danish company which produces ultraviolet-light-disinfection robots, UVD Robots, sold hundreds of robots to the hospitals in China and Europe. Moreover, restaurants and groceries which offer takeaway food are exploring this idea also.

One of the possible uses of robots could perhaps be related to cleaning schools and offices. The experts claim that robots will be even more useful if the companies who have been abruptly closed start working again.

However, there are limitations of this whole idea. For example, automated checkouts at groceries still have to be under the human surveillance because they do not work perfectly, which is primarily the reason why people avoid them.

Due to the health conditions, the food industry can also switch to the usage of robots. McDonalds has already been testing robots for the passion of the cooks and servers. Amazon and Walmart have already been hiring robots which are thought to enhance the level of productivity within the company. Therefore, the new situation with coronavirus can affect the larger number of robots hired to do shipping, sorting and packing.

Even though the usage of robots can help a lot when it comes to the social distancing, it can also lead to many people losing their jobs. Considering the fact that once a robot is hired instead of a human, the chances that that same human will return to his/her job are slim, the robot idea brought worries to some.

Ricardo is a freelance writer specialized in politics. He is with from the beginning and helps it grow. Email: richardorland4[at]