Amazon currently uses some 1,000 robots by Kiva Systems, a company it bought for $775 million in 2012, to fill its customers’ orders. Now CNN reports that Amazon will have 10,000 robots doing the same by the end of this year.
CEO Jeff Bezos revealed the plan to double down on robotics during a shareholder meeting and emphasized that despite the popular sci-fi theme of robotic uprising, no humans will lose their jobs as a result of the increased robotic workforce.
Below is a video that shows “a day in the life” of a Kiva robot navigating a complex warehouse environment, just like what you’d find at Amazon. Consider what Amazon is already doing with 1,000 of these guys to help its human workers, then imagine what it could do with 10,000 of them.
All inventory is stored on “pods,” which are essentially cabinets that a robot can safely interact with. When a robot identifies the pod containing an item to shipped, it swivels underneath of it and effectively becomes a car jack that lifts the pod off of the ground.
The robots carry their pods through the warehouse to human workers, who pull the individual items from the pods and pack them for shipment.Here’s a time-lapse shot of robots moving inventory around a warehouse to human workers, who then pack it for shipment.