Amazon’s new warehouse robots help make employees' jobs safer2021-06-14 17:50 by Daniela
Amazon showed off the latest members of its mechanical menagerie today in a blog post that focuses on how it's using robotic research to improve workplace safety for its human employees.
The robot "Ernie" is trained to help remove items from a robotic shelf – something that doesn't save time, but it does create a safer situation for employees. Ernie takes totes off of a robotic shelf and uses a robotic arm to deliver them to employees, so they can remain in a more comfortable, stable, and ergonomically friendly position. For its part, "Bert" is an autonomous mobile robot (AMR) that is designed to navigate the premises independently, so it can carry carts and goods from one place to another. Amazon believes that Bert might at some point be able to move larger, heavier items or carts that are used to transport multiple packages through its facilities.
In addition, Amazon has "Scooter" and "Kermit," two other AMR robots in development that transport carts. The Scooter carries carts like a train, while the more truck-like Kermit hauls empty tote boxes using magnetic tape and tags to shape its path. The company currently plans to deploy Scooter to at least one Amazon facility this year and is already testing Kermit in several other sites.
Amazon has fulfilment centres in several parts of the world. Currently, employees pick or stow items onto mobile shelves as products move through the process of fulfilling customer orders.
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