Amazon.com has begun adding Proteus industrial robots that carry packages in plastic bins to trucks on loading docks. The robots can distinguish between humans and inanimate objects as they navigate Amazon’s cavernous warehouses. Amazon is introducing Proteus and other smart robots onto its fulfillment center floors to automate its processes.
Amazon Robotics Banks on Kiva
Amazon Robotics has been taking advantage of its purchase of the Kiva company by improving its warehouse AI robot workers.
The Proteus model has been designed to intelligently move around a warehouse autonomously, similar to a robotic vacuum, but is able to also carry a cart of packages. Strides have been made to ensure safety, perception, and navigation properties are prioritized to make sure that Proteus does not interfere with human employees.
While traveling around a warehouse, Proteus fires a green beam of light to mark human employees and will stop as soon as it senses someone.
Amazon claims its goal is to create a safe and efficient working environment between people and robots where safety is a matter of critical concern.
Amazon Robotics’ future plans call for new AI technology that will be able to automatically scan packages and a robot named Cardinal that’s comprised of a large mechanical arm made to pick up and handle packages and put them in carts to reduce physical work for human employees.
Amazon states that they would never fully replace human employees with robots, but the company currently suffers from high amounts of layoffs.