Amazon Robot sends 24 to hospital

We all know that Amazon is going to take over the world and we are all going to end up as bot-tenders in some factory somewhere where our robot overlords will spray us with bear spray when we try to organize for our rights. Is this the basis for some sci-fi movie? No, but it just seems like it could be the next Hollywood blockbuster.

Amazon robots at work
Anyway, back to the non-fiction. An Amazon robot in New Jersey malfunctioned and ripped through a can of bear repellent that sent 24 workers to the hospital. LOL!? Too soon. I guess, but all the workers are expected to make a full recovery.

The repellent-spraying robot does bring up the issue of workplace safety and working conditions. But not to worry, Amazon released a statement saying, "The safety of our employees is our top priority, and as such, all employees in that area have been relocated to safe place and employees experiencing symptoms are being treated onsite,” an Amazon spokesperson told ABC in a statement. “As a precaution, some employees have been transported to local hospitals for evaluation and treatment.” Whew, that reassures me, how about you? Haven't these guys seen Terminator? 

Amazon really does care(?): the richest company in the world just raised their minimum wage to $15 per hour. Not sure where all their plants are, but definitely not around here, in the SF Bay Area, that's not even walking around money.

All joking aside - this is what the future of the workplace is going to look like for more and more blue collar workers. How do we balance workplace safety and wages while satisfying our robot overlords, errr, I mean helpers?


  1. While I do think some of the humor helps with this post, I do have to wonder what the relevance is of bringing up the minimum wage when it doesn't seem to be related to the rest of the post besides also being related to Amazon? It's sort of a non sequitur statement to make, and the humor in it falls a bit more flat than with the rest of the post.

    Drone technology has come far and fast since it was introduced, and it seems like it's here to stay. However, mistakes like this now, in cases where we manage to avoid a loss of life, help to make sure that the issues that could lead to a more lethal accident are that much less likely in the future. It's unfortunate that we'll never be able to prevent accidents like this entirely, but minimizing the risk is a good next step.

    -Kaeleigh Pickens

  2. Daisy Talavera
    Technical Writing
    I think it's important to talk about how much we're advancing as a society. I feel like we are moving too fast, or even just coming up with unnecessary things. Not too long ago I saw on the news that UPS or something was testing robots that would walk up to your door and leave packages at your doorstep so that a human didn't have to. Why do we need that? I like that this post mentions how much Amazon pays, because it's a reality that thee huge corporations rather spend millions of dollars on robots to replace human workers, rater than spending tat money on just paying their employees more/ giving them benefits. It all just makes me mad honestly.

  3. While reading this article I cant really see the relevance or point that it is trying to make. This example of a robot ripping a case of bear repellent just seems like another unfortunate incident in the workplace that is inevitably going to happen at some point in time. Incidents like this in the workplace are less common in today's workforce, however throughout history incidents like this have happened even without the help of robots and technology. Technology will fail at some point, however if a human were to take the place of this robot he/she would also most likely make the same mistakes at a higher risk. I also don't see how amazons wage is relevant to the writers argument at all.

    -Joseph Santos

  4. Jagmeet Randhawa
    English 126- 2126
    Amazon robot or drones, should be tested many times before they get put out. This type of incident should never happen, but sometimes technology messes up. This is a price we pay for advancing technology. The best scenario is to test the technology many times before releasing it, because there is no other way to prevent this type of incident other than just not using the technology. Maybe one day in the future there will be a indefinite solution to this problem in the future, but as of right now there certain way to prevent these accidents

  5. I think it's important to discuss how technology could be more damaging then anything. It's taking peoples jobs and causing harm. It was upsetting to know that amazon is spending thousands or maybe millions of dollars to have these robots but are only paying their employees $15 an hour. When are people going to understand that technology isn't always the answer? Maybe if amazon spent their money taking care of their employees instead of robots they would have never had this situation happen.

    Caitlin Sloan

  6. Diana Ulloa
    English 126-2126
    I find it wild that a company like Amazon would allow a robot to be near bear repellent especially while workers are around. I would also assume that a company as big as Amazon would invest in making sure their robots are safe. I understand accidents happen but to get paid 15 an hour to get injured by bear repellent by a robot malfunction does not seem worth it.


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