Amazon Introducing Warehouse Overhaul With Robotics to Speed Deliveries
Amazon is introducing an array of new artificial intelligence and robotics capabilities into its warehouse operations that will reduce delivery times and help identify inventory more quickly. The revamp will change the way Amazon moves products through its fulfillment centers with new AI-equipped sortation machines and robotic arms. It is also set to alter how many of the company’s vast army of workers do their jobs. Amazon says its new robotics system, named Sequoia after the giant trees native to California’s Sierra Nevada region, is designed for both speed and safety. Humans are meant to work alongside new machines in a way that should reduce injuries, the company says.
Amazon said it would also start to test a bipedal robot named Digit in its operations. Digit, which is designed by Agility Robotics, can move, grasp and handle items, and will initially be used by the company to pick up and move empty tote containers.
Robotics offers route for US manufacturing renaissance
“The US is not going to build the same type of manufacturing China has built for the last four decades,” says Lior Susan, partner at Eclipse Ventures, which backs physical industries at the forefront of what it describes as the next industrial revolution. Venture capital, however, still flows overwhelmingly into software, IT and cloud infrastructure, and fintech, rather than heavy-duty machinery and automation. According to advisers EY, just 2 per cent of $44bn raised by VCs in the first quarter of 2023 went to industrials.