Amazon aims to master the ability to move and handle within warehouses using robots. While navigation allows robots to move objects more quickly through a facility, manipulation helps them pick objects out and place them in boxes.
Between the time a customer clicks “buy” in the Amazon app and the product is delivered, Amazon completes a series of tasks in its warehouse. More and more of these tasks are being automated and handled by robotic systems at some of its facilities in the United States and many other countries. At Amazon’s facility in Sumner, Washington, robotic arms take products off a conveyor belt and send them to another location, where they are assigned to a specific location in Tote Bags, Amazon’s word for an open-top container. These boxes are then stored in large units waiting to be shipped when customers order them. In addition, another advanced robotic arm can identify and manage products using artificial intelligence (AI).
Automated mobile carts, capable of replacing forklifts in warehouses, move specific racks as needed. Using computer vision, these robotic ground vehicles determine which shelves a particular product is placed in. Once they locate the rack, they slide under it, raise it slightly, and move on to the next location where warehouse employees will handle the packing. Part of the packaging is also managed by an automated system. For example, if a product weighs less than the specified weight, the automated conveyor system will handle the packaging and labeling process before the product leaves the facility.
Amazon aims to master movement and manipulation using robots. By gamification, Amazon means allowing robots to understand and manipulate objects. While mobility allows robots to move objects more quickly around a facility, manipulation helps them pick and place objects.
Since Amazon acquired Kiva in 2012, the e-commerce giant has built a fleet of robots capable of performing one of two main roles autonomously. With Digit, these two roles are combined. And this is where the retail giant looks to survive for the long term. “Many companies have moved to a two-legged design because it is a natural design to consider. This is a formal element, but it is not the only one where we see the two roles combined. That’s why I called it [the number] experiment. “We need to understand if this is the right way to handle this at our [Amazon] facilities,” Dresser said.
Describing the future of robotics at Amazon, Dresser noted: “We need form factors that allow us to achieve what we’re looking for,” meaning robotic systems will be smaller and more efficient. . Move small objects quickly.
Today I have algorithms to determine the best way for them [the robots] to move. “But we often encounter situations where there is a lot of congestion,” Mr. Dresser said, explaining the limitations of the current setup. “One way we look at using machine learning and artificial intelligence is to build models about what these traffic patterns look like based on different inputs into the system,” he added.
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