Amazon reveals its first autonomous warehouse robot that can work alongside humans

midian182

Posts: 8,164   +97
Staff member
What just happened? Amazon has a long history of creating robots not only for consumers but also for its many warehouses around the world. Its latest machine is another that falls into the latter category, and it has the distinction of being the company's first "fully autonomous" warehouse robot, one that doesn't have to be caged off from human workers when operating.

Amazon this week announced Proteus, a warehouse robot that, unlike its previous autonomous machines, can operate without needing to be confined to a warehouse's restricted (I.e., caged off) areas.

The tech giant says Proteus uses advanced safety, perception, and navigation technology developed by Amazon to automatically avoid human employees as it moves around a warehouse performing its duties, which includes lifting and moving GoCarts—the large, wheeled cages used to hold items–from one area of a facility to another. The video suggests Proteus fires a green beam in front of itself, stopping whenever a human breaks said beam.

Proteus will initially be deployed in the outbound GoCart handling areas of Amazon fulfillment and sort centers. The company said the robots would reduce the need for people to manually move heavy objects and allow them to "focus on more rewarding work" instead—whatever that might be.

"From the early days of the Kiva acquisition, our vision was never tied to a binary decision of people or technology. Instead, it was about people and technology working safely and harmoniously together to deliver for our customers," Amazon wrote.

While Amazon tends to claim its robots are a benefit to the human warehouse workers, Reveal leaked internal data in 2020 that showed facilities without robots had lower rates of injury than those that used the machines. It's also believed that robotic warehouses have higher production quotas.

As is always the case with automation, the increased autonomy of Amazon's warehouse robots brings with it fears of more machines taking human jobs. But according to a leaked memo from last year, Amazon could run out of people to hire in its US warehouses by 2024, a scenario that would likely increase its reliance on robots even further.

h/t: Insider

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yRaz

Posts: 4,630   +5,597
Not defending amazon here, but the jobs at amazon are jobs that NO ONE wants to do. They need to improve pay and working conditions, but even so, no one wants those jobs. There are TONS of jobs out there are both do and no not require an education. I'm not talking about fast food jobs, either. There is a labor shortage in ALL TRADES right now and the wages offered are well above what most people will make with college degrees.

So let amazon autonomize their warehouses. People need to learn a skill or trade and get a real job.
 

p51d007

Posts: 3,312   +2,923
Not defending amazon here, but the jobs at amazon are jobs that NO ONE wants to do. They need to improve pay and working conditions, but even so, no one wants those jobs. There are TONS of jobs out there are both do and no not require an education. I'm not talking about fast food jobs, either. There is a labor shortage in ALL TRADES right now and the wages offered are well above what most people will make with college degrees.

So let amazon autonomize their warehouses. People need to learn a skill or trade and get a real job.


Yeah, I love the "we need a living wage" argument. Minimum wage jobs were designed for high school kids to get experience working, interacting with customers, leaning how to work etc.
Then you hear/see people in their 30's and above complaining that a minimum wage job is the
only thing they can get.
Well, then you have to sit down and ask yourself. From the time you were say 12, through your mid 20's what did you do?
Did you finish high school? Did you go to college? Did you join the military? Did you have some sort of family issue, medical emergency, car accident?
Well, then I do have a little sympathy for you.
But, if you dropped out of school, and or used drugs, spent time in prison for drugs/murder/robbery etc, had a whole bunch of children you could not afford, it's hard to have sympathy for you.
The USA gives pretty much anyone the opportunity to achieve anything. I've seen countless stories about people that were dirt poor, rising up, studying, working and achieving the American
dream.
LIFE is hard. The quicker you figure that out, the easier it is.
 

yRaz

Posts: 4,630   +5,597
Yeah, I love the "we need a living wage" argument. Minimum wage jobs were designed for high school kids to get experience working, interacting with customers, leaning how to work etc.
Then you hear/see people in their 30's and above complaining that a minimum wage job is the
only thing they can get.
Well, then you have to sit down and ask yourself. From the time you were say 12, through your mid 20's what did you do?
Did you finish high school? Did you go to college? Did you join the military? Did you have some sort of family issue, medical emergency, car accident?
Well, then I do have a little sympathy for you.
But, if you dropped out of school, and or used drugs, spent time in prison for drugs/murder/robbery etc, had a whole bunch of children you could not afford, it's hard to have sympathy for you.
The USA gives pretty much anyone the opportunity to achieve anything. I've seen countless stories about people that were dirt poor, rising up, studying, working and achieving the American
dream.
LIFE is hard. The quicker you figure that out, the easier it is.
The only thing I will say is that the poverty loop is VERY hard to get out of once you're stuck in it, but I don't want to see people with iphones drinking Starbucks and eating expensive take out talk about how broke they are. I've been in the poverty loop but I learned a trade and now I work all over the northeast making far more than I could with my major.

Chances are, if you have driven over a bridge in western Pennsylvania, I've worked on it. And, before anyone asks, I'm currently working on the fern hollow bridge that collapsed in Pittsburgh