Amazonin the past few hours, he announced his first fully autonomous warehouse robotable to move in warehouses and move large carts safely. Proteusas the robot is called, would move smoothly among humans, effectively becoming a colleague of Amazon employees.
Proteus, the new autonomous robot from Amazon that will move inside the warehouses
Amazon announced its “first fully autonomous robot”, meant for move trolleys and weights in its warehouses. The robot is called Proteus and Amazon claims that can browse employees safelyunlike some of its previously announced robots that had a dedicated area within the facility.
The company said the Proteus robots have “advanced safety, perception and navigation technology”. In a demonstration video, in fact, we see that the robot has a green light on the front; when it is in motion, and if a human being enters its radius, the robot stops to restart once the person has moved away.
Proteus wasn’t Amazon’s only announcement, the company announced several other systems. Cardinalfor example, is a robotic arm capable of lifting and moving packages up to about 22kg, which the company hopes to roll out to its kids next year. Amazon said its computer vision systems allow the robotic arm to pick up and lift individual packages, even if they are in a stack.
Amazon also posted a video about a technology that could allow its employees to stop using the handheld scanners they use for barcodes. In the video you can see a housing with a camera system which recognizes parcels even on the move e scan the label between steps. Not many details have been revealed, but as The Verge reports, it appears that this camera system is similar to the one used in Amazon grocery stores, where you can shop without going through the cashier.
But robots will not replace people
The continuous advancement of technology, with the creation of these autonomous robots, turns the spotlight on potential labor problems. Amazon, however, he said he is not building robots with the aim of not hiring more people. A leader of the company’s robotics division told Forbes that “Replacing people with machines is just a mistake” which could lead a company to close the business. The purpose of the robots in fact would be to lighten the workload of human employees. Amazon says this technology could also help improve safety.
Cardinal works in places where workers would otherwise lift heavy packages, a movement that can cause injury; and Proteus instead could “reduce the need for people to manually move heavy objects.”