How Amazon achieved impressive robotic automation

July 8, 2015 - tech
How Amazon achieved impressive robotic automation

MIT Technology Review wrote an interesting article on Amazon warehouse automation via robots. Here are some interesting benefits:

However, robots are still incapable of tasks that require fine manipulation or improvisation, so it is useful to devise ways for robots to collaborate with humans more effectively

Amazon custom designed its warehouses with robotic automation in mind. However traditional warehouses were not designed that way which leaves two options for managers – 1) re-platform warehouses for robotic automation or 2) use new robots that can “adapt” to a traditional warehouse environment. #1 is prohibitively expensive and will take a long time to occur as warehouses are re-platformed over time.

According to MIT Tech Review a company called Fetch Robotics is trying to solve option #2 by developing robots that can follow a picker or even identify and pick products on shelves.

Source: At Amazon Warehouses, Humans and Machines Work in Frenetic Harmony | MIT Technology Review