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Amazon Introduces Proteus, a Fully Autonomous Mobile Robot

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Article Summary
  • Amazon is adding a fully autonomous warehouse mobile robot.
  • The new Amazon robot is called Proteus.
  • Amazon clarifies that the robots aren’t being built to replace humans.

Amazon is well known for being a strong supporter of automation. On top of its cashier-less stores, the company is introducing a fully autonomous warehouse mobile robot called Proteus.

Robots in the warehouse aren’t that new but what’s interesting about the newest addition to Amazon’s warehouse is the fact that it is fully autonomous. This means the robots can function on their own without any need to control them.

Using autonomous technology in the warehouse has its own advantages including efficiency, speed, and accuracy. Since the robots are designed to work consistently to a certain standard, they are capable of substituting human workers for certain tasks.

The tricky part about autonomous technology is that robots need to be capable of carrying heavier loads and sorting products. Programming the robots to move around the warehouse without bumping into humans with the help of sensors is also another complicated part.

With the use of sensors, however, the Proteus robots stop whenever a human is in front of them and resume their route once the way is clear. This smart technology helps the robots avoid collisions and bumping into humans.

Amazon Clarifies Robots Aren’t Designed to Replace Humans

Although Amazon said that the move isn’t designed to replace humans, there are already reports saying AI robots will work more than humans in 2025. With the advancement of automation and shortage of workers, more companies are shifting towards the use of robots.

Amazon, the largest online retailer in the world, is not only using automation on the frontend but also robots in the backend. With the addition of the Proteus, Amazon will be able to integrate robots and humans in the same place.

Previously, Amazon had to have a separate place for robot workers and human workers but with the addition of fully autonomous warehouse mobile robots, the two can work together in the same space. 

Integrating robots into the same space as humans will help Amazon increase its productivity, efficiency, and space. The Proteus robot was described as having advanced safety, perception, and navigation technology.

Amazon’s Fully Autonomous Warehouse Mobile Robot Technology

Amazon is using certain technology from some of its other automation systems like the Just Walk Out tech from its cashier-less stores. The robot uses a mixture of a 120fps camera system and machine learning.

The company is also adding a robotic arm called Cardinal that is capable of lifting over 20kgs and is expected to roll them out to their different warehouses by 2023. This might not seem like much of an improvement but what’s really new about the robotic arm is that it uses computer vision systems to lift individual packages despite them being in a pile.

Aside from carrying packages, one thing that Amazon really has to improve on is its sorting methods. With the help of automation, the company could increase its efficiency through the use of robots.

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