Amazon announces its first fully autonomous warehouse robot
The world’s largest online retailer and a prominent cloud service provider, Amazon, recently announced the debut of its first “fully autonomous warehouse mobile robot.” The robot is meant to revolutionize a lot of warehouse operations. Called Proteus, Amazon’s creation can safely navigate around human employees, pick things up, put them down, and move them around.
According to Amazon, the Proteus robot has built-in “safety, perception, and navigation technology” – a video shows the robot shining a green light in front of themselves as they move around. When a human enters the beam, the robot stops moving and resumes once the person goes away.
With several other robotic systems on the way, Amazon is planning on automating a lot of its warehouse operations. For instance, one of the next robots in the pipeline is Called Cardinal and is meant to lift and move packages weighing up to 50 pounds. Amazon hopes to deploy this robot in its warehouses in 2023, saying that its computer vision systems are so advanced that the robot can pick out and lift individual packages, even if they are in a pile.
There is an additional video published by Amazon on YouTube, where you can see how Proteus’ scanless tech-package identification actually works. This is essentially a piece of technology that can finally replace the hand scanners people use to log barcodes.
The only concern right now is the one with labor. Recent reports showed that Amazon could soon struggle to find workers, but the company clearly said that it’s not looking to build robots instead of hiring people. However, Proteus shows that robots could play a vital role in setting a pace of work that humans struggle to keep up with. The new scanning system is solid proof for that, automating operations and reducing movements that can lead to human injuries.