In a post looking back on the past 10 years since it bought robotics company Kiva, Amazon has revealed its new machines, including its first fully autonomous warehouse robot. It’s called Proteus, and it was designed to be able to move around Amazon’s facilities on its own while hauling carts full of packages.
The company said the robot uses “advanced safety, perception and navigation technology” that it developed to be able to do its job without hindering human employees.
In the video Amazon posted, Proteus can be seen moving under cars and transporting them to other locations. Emits a green beam in front of him as he moves, stopping if a human worker stands in front of the beam.
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Amazon’s goal is to automate the handling of its parcel carts to reduce the need for human workers to manually move them around its facility.
In fact, the e-commerce giant emphasized that its robots were designed to create a safer workplace for people.
“From the early days of the Kiva acquisition, our vision was never tied to a binary decision of people or technology. Instead, it was about people and technology working together securely and harmoniously to deliver for our customers,” he wrote.
Another new robot called Cardinal was also designed with the idea of reducing the risk of injury to employees. Cardinal is a robotic arm that picks up packages, reads their labels, and then places them in the appropriate cart for the next stage of the shipping process.
Artificial intelligence and computer vision allow you to classify packages correctly.
Amazon is currently testing a prototype that can lift boxes up to 50 pounds and hopes to deploy the robotic arm in distribution centers by next year.
Finally, the company also revealed that it is working on artificial intelligence technology that can automatically scan packages. Currently, workers have to scan barcodes on packages with handheld scanners; this technology will eliminate the need to do so.
With this scanning capability in place, human workers don’t even need to pause while sorting packages: the system can quickly recognize a package that passes through its camera.
Amazon explained that its camera works at 120 frames per second and is powered by computer vision and machine learning technology.
The e-commerce giant has introduced several robots over the years and has always emphasized that their purpose is to improve security in its warehouses.
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