Amazon robots

But a few minutes east of town, inside a warehouse belonging to Amazon, there are signs of another industrial transformation. Now the shelves themselves glide quickly across the floor carried atop robots about the size and shape of footstools.

Amazon robots

These employees are the ones that pick items from fulfillment center shelves, collect them into bins and send them to packers that put them all together into boxes to be mailed out.

So far, this job has been carried out by humans, but The Information reports that the company is working on robots that can do the task on their own.

Robots - Toys at

According to people familiar with the work, Amazon is currently developing picker robots that can collect items and place them into bins.

One person who saw a demonstration of such a device said it was able to identify items moving on a conveyor belt, pick them up with its gripper and move it to another area, like a table or shelf. Naturally, there are concerns about what these types of robots will mean for jobs. But Amazon says, at least for now, this technology isn't yet sophisticated enough to handle all of the many items it stocks and ships.

Amazon has hosted competitionsin search of technology that could boost efficiency in its warehouses. But of course, it's not the only company interested in these sorts of robots.

Amazon robots

Walmart unveiled Alphabot earlier this year, a system it's testing that can collect certain items from storage and transport them to employees who package orders for delivery. Amazon began incorporating robots into its fulfillment centers a few years ago, and of its facilities, around 14 percent now host robots.Amazon has a top-secret project codenamed “Vesta” that is said to be focused on building robots for the home.

The division responsible for the project is also the one who worked on the Echo. Amazon's hyper-fast growth has fueled the need for workers at more than warehouse locations across the globe. The jobs may often be welcome, but the pay and working conditions are "shocking.

Amazon is the world’s largest internet-based retailer by total sales and market capitalization, serving millions of customers across the world. According to Forbes, $4 out of every $10 spent.

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Amazon, robots and the near-future rise of the automated warehouse - TechRepublic

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Amazon robots

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Amazon Developing ‘Picking’ Robots for Warehouses — The Information