Amazon's Latest Warehouse is a Robot Winter Wonderland

Amazon's Latest Warehouse is a Robot Winter Wonderland

That Super Value Mega Pack of men's underwear you just bought on Amazon? Probably handled by a robot.

Amazon is reducing stress on its human warehouse fulfillment center workforce by bringing thousands of robots into ten North American facilities this month.

The new centers are part of Amazon's massive fulfillment center network; any time you buy something on Amazon labeled as "Sold by Amazon.com," or "Sold by X, fulfilled by Amazon," it's coming from one of these centers.

So what's inside the revamped warehouses? Amazon now has a fleet of over 15,000 robots, all of which can lift over 700 pounds (they weigh 350 pounds each). The bots look like iRobot Roomba's on steroids, with a round, low-profile body. The new warehouse system works by having the robot lift entire shelving units instead of specific products; the robot then brings the shelving unit over to a human fulfillment center worker, who takes the ordered product off the shelf.

The new system, which keeps human employees out of the most of the warehouse, allows shelves to be placed closer together, effectively doubling the amount of product that a warehouse can hold.

Amazon Warehouse Robots 310x 2

These robots are the first real fruit borne from Amazon's $775 million acquisition of Kiva Systems in 2012. Kiva has been in the warehouse robot game for years, supplying box-grabbin' Wall-E machines to Zappos since the site started selling shoes.

Other new features in the retooled warehouses include a massive "Robo-Stow" robotic arm that can move larger products within the warehouse, and a retooled vision system that allows for a new truck of inventory to be unloaded in as little as 30 minutes. Human employees aren't left out in the cold, either, as their computer systems have been revamped as well.

While the robot army will (probably) eventually cut down on human workers in such warehouses, Amazon is still adding 80,000 seasonal workers for the holiday season this year.

Source: Amazon BW

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That's friggin awesome!
I've always seen robots as how we'll eventually get past the 'economy' system.

I for one welcome our new robotic overloards :-)

So maybe they can stop pissing all over my country's labour laws and stop holding people like slaves?

Danm did they really have to give those robot faces (not saying it's a bad thing, I just see them as some workers now). So is this like the secondart robot labour force now or what (first being the robot arms in the car factory or stuff like that).

Human employees aren't left out in the cold, either, as their computer systems have been revamped as well.

This sounds like amazon installed computer chips in their employees to control them better...

I wouldnt doubt they would try something like that... i worked for amazon once... for two days... and for them their employees are just cattle with numbers.

just one more step forward toward the point where there is no need for humans to do any job.

Its kind of nice that they let the packers have jobs.

I see this as the end game for the "work force" some "brilliant" engineer creates a robot team (lets say 10) that can build a house from start to finish all that needs to be provided is building supplies, and schematics, and the robots complete the job in a week exactly to designs. then I would give it a year, and every major construction company would rather be buying, and repairing these robot teams then paying a labor team of humans (not to mention medical bills), and we now have about 80% of American labor workers out of jobs.

we already will have shipping companies wanting to go with robot drivers because faster deliveries (cause the robot doesn't have to stop, and take a nap by law).

here's a questions: what happens when 80% of a countries population literally has nothing to do for a job, and Capitalism is still a "driving factor". lets see major corporations like Amazon spin "the only humans working for our company are executives, and a few repair/upkeep people" as an amazing thing for the economy.

the only real things that prevent it from 90-98% is the inability to create a robot that can reasonably pass the Turing test to act as a doctor, and or call center operator, and the only answer not involving constant riots is "real" communism (not that Socialistic-Dictatorship bull we see currently claiming communism)

gardian06:
just one more step forward toward the point where there is no need for humans to do any job.

We're still a long way for that..I mean a long way. I work with AGVs (automatic guided vehicles) all day long and they do need human assistance more often than you think in fact they damage goods more often than we do (us humans). When they shutdown inexplicitly or otherwise, it's a pain to reboot and can last for hours.

One shift, they broke down and because the production is quite reliant to sort and move heavy goods there was nothing, Nothing to do for 8 hours.

I worked at Amazon's warehouse before in Wisconsin and i can only suppose that they got tired of re-hiring people after they quit from horrible working conditions.

Amazon is pure evil inside, trust me. I don't like them one bit and anyone who has worked there does not either, I can guarantee it. (unless you are one of their techies, their babies.)

Good. We need to automate all physical work and allow humans to expand their intellect instead. Amazon seems to always be trying to innovate there.

 

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