Amazon’s new robotic tech set to make work easier, safer for employees

Amazon recently revealed a new showcase of its new robot it’s been working on. Amazon also revealed that the company currently has over 520,000 robotic drive units, which work hand-in-hand with employees to make workplaces safer and more efficient than ever. Robotics like the Proteus and Cardinal are the latest tech Amazon has been working on and investing in. Here’s all you need to know about them.

Proteus

A fully autonomous mobile robot, the Proteus is capable of moving through Amazon facilities using “advanced safety, visualization and navigation technology developed by Amazon.” The robot was designed to be used around employees and therefore, does not have to be confined to enclosed areas. This allows the Proteus to operate safely as well as open up employees to a greater range of possibilities, including moving around the GoCarts that are used to move packages through the facility.

“Proteus will be deployed in the outbound GoCart handling areas in our fulfillment centers and sort centers,” Amazon said in a blog post. “Our vision is to automate GoCart handling across the network, which will help reduce the need for people to move manually through heavy objects and instead focus on more rewarding work,” the company added.

Cardinal

The Cardinal Robot is capable of using advanced artificial intelligence to select a particular package from a pile, lift it and read the label, before precisely placing it on a GoCart package. Amazon says the robot reduces the risk of employees injecting themselves while dealing with lifting and turning large and heavy packages into a confined space. The Cardinal is also faster at sorting packages, which contributes to packages within a faster processing time before they leave for their respective delivery addresses.

Currently, in test cases of up to 50 pounds of handling packages, the Cardinal is expected to be implemented in fulfillment centers next year.

Amazon Robotics Identification

Amazon’s third innovation is the Amazon Robotics Identification, or AR-ID, a scanning capability powered by AR that can use machine learning and computer vision to enable better, more convenient scanning of packages in our facilities.

Amazon’s tracking system that allows users to track their goods through each part of the shipment process is dependent on scanning at each checkpoint. The AR-ID makes this step easier as it, all employees need to do is pick up a package in the front of a scanner and place it in the next container.

The AR-ID runs at 120 frames per second and captures the product’s unique code and scans, eliminating the need for employees to manually find the bar code and scan it with one hand while holding the package with the other.

Containerised Storage System

Amazon also revealed a new robotic system that eliminates the need for employees to reach up, bend down or climb ladders when retrieving items. This is possible thanks to the new containerised storage system.

Amazon claims the system is capable of determining which particular pod has a particular container. The system can then locate the pod, grab it and pull it out and give it to an employee. This is possible through what Amazon calls “a highly choreographed dance of robotics and software.”

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