Amazon says it now has more than 750,000 robots deployed in its warehouses, most of them robotic arms or wheel-based machines designed to perform repetitive tasks so as to free up employees for other tasks.
But Amazon’s latest deployment may have some warehouse workers looking over their shoulders because this particular device looks and moves just like them.
Digit, undergoing testing at its robotics research and development site just south of Seattle, is a humanoid robot capable of moving between locations while holding and handling packages shipped to customers.
We first learned about Digit in 2019 when it was being touted as a potential delivery robot. Created by Oregon-based startup Agility Robotics, the bipedal robot has since been improved to be more mobile and agile, improvements partly driven by Amazon’s investment.
“Its size and shape are suitable for buildings that are designed for humans, and we believe there is a huge opportunity to scale mobile manipulator solutions like Digit,” Amazon said in an online post , who can work together with the staff.” This week, it said its initial use for Digit would be to help employees with the repetitive task of lifting and moving empty crates after picking items.
Amazon also said it is deploying a robotic system called Sequoia at one of its warehouses in Houston, Texas. The company claimed that the low-slung, wheel-based robot is able to identify and store inventory 75% more quickly, helping to reduce order processing times by 25%.
While many observers believe Amazon dreams of the day when it will be able to run its entire operation using robots, the company emphasizes that it wants its machines to be collaborative and employees. Support, with perspective on how she designs and deploys systems from Sequoia and Digit.
“Over the past 10 years, we have deployed hundreds of thousands of robotics systems within our operations, while also creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs,” Amazon said. “By equipping our employees with new technology and training them to develop new skills, we are creating career paths and new and exciting ways for people to contribute here at Amazon,” he said.