A new completely autonomous robot will transport massive carts across Amazon warehouses, the company has revealed.
Amazon has unveiled Proteus, which can safely walk near human personnel, unlike some of its previous robots, which were kept segregated in a caged environment.
The company says Proteus robots have “advanced safety, perception, and navigation technology,” which means they move around with a green light in front of them.
If a human enters inside the beam, the robot comes to a halt.
It can then restart its movement after the person goes away.
The company has also introduced several additional robotic devices, including Cardinal, a robotic arm capable of lifting and moving items weighing up to 50 pounds that it plans to deploy in warehouses next year.
The computer vision technologies allow it to pick out and lift individual parcels even if they are in a pile.
Amazon has also created technology that might allow staff to forego using hand scanners to log barcodes.
Workers instead stand in front of a camera system that detects parcels without pausing to read the labels.
There’s not much information about how it works, other than that it uses machine learning and a 120 fps camera system.
But the impact is similar to what we’ve seen with the company’s Just Walk Out innovation, which allows it to develop cashier-less businesses.
There are possible labor concerns, as is typically the case with new robot technology.
Despite recent claims that Amazon may soon face a labor shortage, the business maintains it would not construct robots instead of hiring people.
A lead at Amazon’s robots section said “replacing people with machines is just a fallacy” that might lead to a company going out of business.
Amazon says all of its new robots might increase safety.
Cardinal works in areas where workers would usually lift and twist big goods, which can result in accidents, and Proteus might “eliminate the need for individuals to physically handle heavy objects.”
In addition, the firm is developing a robot that will bring containers to workers rather than requiring them to bend or climb to get products.
Source: The Verge