A Roomba-like robot that lifts like an Olympian has been unveiled by Amazon.
Almost a decade after Amazon made its initial nearly billion-dollar investment in robotic automation, the business has released its first completely autonomous robot.
In its 1,137 fulfilment facilities, Amazon today employs some 200,000 robots, but the bots have never worked side by side with human Amazon employees before.
Proteus, on the other hand, is unique. “Proteus” was created to be self-sufficient and to operate around workers, according to an Amazon press release on the new bot.
A video of Proteus in action was also shared by Amazon. When an Amazon Go Cart is full, the robot rolls beneath the iRobot Roombo with friendly, monochrome eyes blinking in the front (basically a product cage). When the robot reaches what one believes is the middle of the cart, it executes a 90-degree rotation, and then raises the cart off of the ground. The robot’s maximum lifting capability is not specified by Amazon, but it is certainly carrying a significant weight, as seen by the amount of dust it is stirring up on the floor.
Because the load is evenly distributed, Proteus may move ahead without the cart tipping over or tumbling over. Plugging itself in later, it navigates to a nearby charging station.
Proteus stops casually when a human worker walks in front of it to exhibit its cooperative attitude. They seem to take a minute to consider one another before moving on.
Amazon credits its patented superior safety, perception, and navigation technologies for making all of this possible.
Proteus is now only available in Amazon warehouses equipped with GoCart handling areas, but the retail giant aims to spread the system throughout its inventory and fulfilment network.
Amazon is bringing in a slew of new robots, and Proteus is only the beginning. Cardinal, a single-arm robot with AI and computer vision that can recognise, lift, and sort big goods, was also revealed by the business (up to 50 lbs).
As we all grappled with the restrictions imposed on us by COVID-19, our dependency Now has grown exponentially. Our buying habits will not change even after the epidemic is over, thanks in large part to Amazon.
There is little doubt that the company’s 470 billion in profits last year will be used to turn its distribution centres into more automated workplaces. It’s possible that these attempts coincide with Amazon’s (opens in new tab) struggle with the emergence of unionised employees in several of its warehouses.
In spite of Amazon’s claim that its robots aren’t meant to replace human labour, it’s inevitable that some of that will happen when Cardinals take over for heavy box carrying and Proteus runs hundreds of GoCarts full of the things we all shop every single day.
Everyone and every robot at Amazon are gearing up for Amazon Prime Day, which takes place on July 20.