Amazon first entered the cell robotic area in 2012, when it acquired Kiva Methods for $775 million. Kiva supplied automated guided automobiles (AGVs) that would navigate a warehouse utilizing a collection of computerized barcode stickers on the ground.
Now, a decade later, Amazon has introduced its first absolutely autonomous cell robotic (AMR), Proteus. Proteus is an AMR with the same design to the Kiva robots which were at work in Amazon’s warehouses for years. Proteus can slide underneath Amazon’s GoCarts, decide them up and transfer them throughout the warehouse to workers or different robotic cells, decreasing the quantity of strolling Amazon staff must retrieve objects.
Not like the Kiva robots, which presently function in caged off areas away from Amazon workers, Proteus is ready to work freely amongst them.
Amazon plans to deploy the AMRs initially within the outbound GoCart dealing with areas in its achievement facilities and sorting facilities. A supply advised The Robotic Report Amazon will use each the Proteus AMRs and the Kiva-like AGVs transferring ahead.
“To be sincere, the structured fields (our legacy methods) are extra environment friendly – and infrequently cheaper – when you should use them. However the AMRs make sense in areas the place you’re performing work you possibly can’t moderately, bodily separate the individuals from – when there’s larger variability, extra exception dealing with, and so on. So AMRs are an extra device in our toolbox to select from once we wish to add automaton someplace.”
Developments at Amazon
With the announcement, Amazon gave a glance into among the different expertise it plans on deploying in its warehouses. The primary of which is Cardinal, a robotic workcell that may decide packages from a pile, learn the bundle’s label after which locations it in a GoCart so the bundle can proceed its journey.
Cardinal helps scale back the quantity of lifting and twisting Amazon workers must do. Cardinal is presently on the prototype section, the place it’s in a position to deal with packages as much as 50 lb. The corporate hopes to deploy the robotic in its achievement facilities subsequent 12 months.
The corporate additionally gave a take a look at its containerized storage system. At the moment, workers in Amazon’s achievement facilities decide and stow objects onto cell cabinets manually. The robotic containerized storage system eliminates the necessity to workers to achieve up, bend down or climb ladders to retrieve objects.
As an alternative, the system determines which pod has the container with the product wanted to be picked and makes use of a robotic arm to seize and pull the container to an worker. After the worker retrieves the merchandise, the robotic system returns the container to its spot.