Amazon may be developing drones for the future, but here’s something for the here and now. A veritable feast of robots that will appeal to anyone who is into technology.
Today the e-commerce giant lifted the lid on the advanced (and frankly damn right cool) little machines that make its latest, eighth generation fulfillment centers tick.
Robots from Kiva Systems, a company Amazon bought for $775 million back in 2012, are the standout star at the center. Scurrying around the warehouse floor, they move your precious orders and look like a domesticated version of a Star Wars character or perhaps a space station bot from Wall-E.
Amazon isn’t just about cutting-edge robotics, the company invests in people power too. This year, it said it plans to hire 80,000 employees to cover the seasonal rush, that’s 14 percent more than last year. As ever, it expects “thousands” of these short-term recruits to move into full-time roles once the crazy period has passed.
The company has 10 of these tech’ed-up fulfillment centers across the U.S., housing more than 15,000 Kiva bots.
Amazon said the technology inside the centers includes the Robo-Stow, a gigantic robotic arm that shifts orders. There are also new inventory systems that cut down time taken unloading and processing products and packages, getting your goodies to you quicker — in theory, at least.
Personally, I can’t wait to see how drones will fit into the process… but I suspect we have a lot of time to wait on that. The Kiva is cool enough for now.