Amazon bought a robotics company called Kiva Systems in 2012 for $775 million (632 million). Kiva’s robots automate the picking and packing process at large warehouses in a way that stands to help Amazon become more efficient. The robots 16 inches tall and almost 145kg can run at 5mph and haul packages weighing up to 317kg. Continue ReadingWhen Amazon acquired Kiva, Phil Hardin, Amazon’s director of investor relations, said: “It’s a bit of an investment that has implications for a lot of elements of our cost structure, but were happy with Kiva. It has been a great innovation for us, and we think it makes the warehouse jobs better, and we think it makes our warehouses more productive.” Full ArticleAmazon also uses other types of robots in its warehouses, including large robotic arms that can move large pallets of Amazon stock. The company has been adding about 15,000 robots year-on-year, based on multiple previous reports. At the end of 2014, Amazon said it had 15,000 robots operating across 10 warehouses. In 2015, that number rose to 30,000 and now Amazon has 45,000. Kiva robots move inventory at an Amazon fulfillment center in Tracy, California December 1, 2014. Reuters Last April, Amazon chief financial officer Brian Olsavsky reportedly said at a robots conference: “We’ve changed, again, the automation, the size, the scale many times, and we continue to learn and grow there.” Olsavsky added that the number of robots used varies from warehouse to warehouse, saying that some are “fully outfitted” in robots, while others don’t have “robot volume” for economic reasons.
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