Check out the Amazon warehouse robots

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There has been much chat on one post we made earlier in the week about what it’s like in an Amazon warehouse. Some Tamebay readers have criticised the reported working conditions that some of Amazon’s picking and packing staff are said to have to put up with.

So, as something of a public service, I thought I’d share one aspect of Amazon’s service that isn’t much known about. Amazon bought a company called Kiva Systems which make the robots earlier in the year, and whilst I’m not sure they are already in operation for Amazon, they are clearly rather amazing and sophisticated. That’s probably why Amazon paid $775m for the company.

9 Responses

  1. These robots are just so cool. I wish I could have one in my house to fetch and carry for me… I just need one that can load and unload the dishwasher and a few other chores….

    …Now Kiva, another cold beer from the fridge please! 😀

  2. I can see that being great, right until something heavy is picked from the pod and the robot has a “Oh dear I have drank too much” type wobble back to the drop off spot knocking over everything in its path XD

  3. This seems a very expensive way to replace some worker on minimum wage with a trolley!

    Looking at the videos of Amazon fulfilment centres they often have small items stored on multiple floors of shelving (with conveyor belts moving items from picking to packing).

    This new approach would need a large flat floor with relatively little stored per unit area. Given that there already issues surrounding the size of the fulfilment centrers this would just make the issues worse.

    From the perspective of somebody who likes technology this system is fascinating to watch.

  4. Chris,

    The Holman example is not relevant. And you misunderstand (probably wilfully) my previous point.

    Amazon is not proposing to build a factory. It is proposing to build a distribution centre. Therefore it needs to be near the community it serves.

    Situating the Merseryside centre in Cornwall, quite simply would be madness. As we have posted, Amazon is working on next day and same day delivery.

    Building a network of such centres, as we have reported re the US, is critical and they have to be near the people. Not at the end of a distant peninsular with poor transport links.

    Dan

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