Amazon unveils its first fully autonomous mobile warehouse robot

amazon entered the space for the first time mobile robots in 2012, when he acquired Kiva Systems for 775 million dollars. Kiva it offered automated guided vehicles (AGVs) that could navigate a warehouse using a series of computerized barcode stickers on the floor.

Now, a decade later, Amazon has announced its first fully autonomous mobile robot (AMR), Proteus. Proteus is an AMR with a design similar to the Kiva robots that have been working in Amazon warehouses for years.

“Proteus” have advanced technology

Proteus can slide under Amazon GoCarts, pick them up and move them around the warehouse to employees or other robotic cells, reducing the amount of time Amazon workers must walk to retrieve items. Unlike the Kiva robots, which currently operate in caged spaces away from Amazon employees, Proteus can work freely among them.

Amazon plans to implement AMRs initially in outbound GoCart handling areas at its fulfillment and sorting centers. A source told The Robot Report that Amazon will use both Proteus AMRs and Kiva-type AGVs in the future.

With the announcement, Amazon took a look at some of the other technologies it plans to implement in its warehouses. The first of these is Cardinal, a robotic work cell that can pick packages from a stack, read the label on the package, and then place it in a GoCart so the package can continue its journey.

Cardinal helps reduce the amount of work Amazon employees have to lift and twist. Cardinal is currently in the prototype phase, where it can handle packages up to 50 lbs. The company hopes to implement the robot in its distribution centers next year.

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