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Amazon has been relying on automated robots in its warehouse and packing facilities alongside human workers for some time. These bots are still unable to handle all of the tasks needed and it looks as though Amazon is looking to upgrade the fleet.
Instead of just buying or developing new ones on their own, Amazon will be be holding a competition in the coming months to see who can make the best autonomous robots for its warehouses. The bots the company is looking for aren't just standard packing systems either. They must be able to handle very delicate products and package them with precision and speed.
The winner will only be receiving $25,000. However, if someone can actually deliver a winning solution that Amazon would consider, there would likely be some serious business taking place beyond the $25K in winnings. The cost of a brand new robot army for Amazon's warehouses isn't cheap.
While robots that can do interesting things is always a good thing, what this may mean for the human staff at Amazon facilities of this nature is unclear. Hopefully these potential new mechanical packers won't take jobs from Amazon's living work force.