13 May 2019
Amazon Inc has been working on a logistics network that will involve artificial intelligence and robotics. According to Scott Anderson, the company’s director of robotics fulfillment, the state recently that a fully automated Amazon warehouse is still at least 10 years away. The comments reveal the current pace of automation in business like Amazon’s warehouse.
Amazon has been exploring a variety of technologies in a bid to automate the various steps needed to get a package to shoppers, Anderson added.
“In the current form, the technology is very limited. The technology is very far from the fully automated workstation that we would need,” Anderson said.
Derek Jones, Amazon's global director of environment, health and safety, also backed up Anderson's claim stating, "Just imagine if you want bananas. I want my bananas to be firm, others like their bananas to be ripe. How do you get a robot to choose that?"
Last month, Amazon stated that it plans to deliver packages to members of its loyalty club, Prime, in just one day instead of two. The company’s current target is four hours from the time a product is ordered to the time it leaves the warehouse. The ecom giant has raised the minimum wage to $15 per hour for U.S. employees in November, after receiving criticism for poor pay and working conditions of employees.
Amazon acquired robotics company Kiva Systems back in 2012 and has been developing robots to integrate into its workforce ever since. The company has also been working on drones to carry out deliveries and has also integrated technology to allow Amazon employees to better work alongside robots. The company has been granted a patent for workers in robot cages as well as a tech vest that protects humans from robots.