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The company celebrated a decade of its robotics division, which was essentially created when it acquired Kiva Systems, this week at its annual Re:Mars conference in Las Vegas.
E-commerce giant Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ: AMZN) has announced its “first fully autonomous mobile robot”, dubbed Proteus, which, according to the company, can safely navigate around without hindering human employees, unlike some of its past robots.
The Proteus robot, according to Amazon, has “superior safety, vision, and navigation technologies,” and was designed to move around Amazon’s facilities on its own, with or without carrying carts full of packages. In a video posted on their website, the newly designed Proteus would stop moving when a person gets in front of them and then resume after the person moves away, thanks to a green beam equipped in front of them as they move around.
“Proteus autonomously moves through our facilities using advanced safety, perception, and navigation technology developed by Amazon. The robot was built to be automatically directed to perform its work and move around employees, meaning it does not need to be confined to restricted areas. It can operate in a manner that augments simple, safe interaction between technology and people, opening up a broader range of possible uses to help our employees, such as the lifting and movement of GoCarts, the non-automated, wheeled transports used to move packages through our facilities,” Amazon stated in a blog post.
The company has been aiming to automate the handling of its package carts so that fewer employees would need to carry them manually throughout its facilities. Warehouse robotics and automation saw a sharp rise amid the pandemic, and Amazon Robotics, for almost a decade, has been a driving force in the sector, emphasizing that its robots were made to make workplaces safer for people.
“From the early days of the Kiva acquisition, our vision was never tied to a binary decision of people or technology. Instead, it was about people and technology working safely and harmoniously together to deliver for our customers,” the company stated on its website.
The company celebrated a decade of its robotics division, which was essentially created when it acquired Kiva Systems, this week at its annual Re:Mars conference in Las Vegas. More than 520,000 robotic drive units have been installed by Amazon Robotics across its fulfillment and sorting centers throughout its existence.
Amazon has enjoyed success in the company’s aim toward same-and next-day package delivery, thanks to its robotics division, which has prompted the competition to search for their own third-party robot solutions, supporting businesses like Locus, Fetch, and Berkshire Grey.
Several further robotic systems have also been announced by Amazon. One of them, Cardinal, is a robotic arm that Amazon plans to utilize in warehouses next year and can lift and transport products weighing up to 50 pounds. The company claims that it can pick out and lift certain parcels even when they are piled up thanks to its computer vision systems.