Amazon is all about shopping and selling thousands and thousands of different products all over the United States. It’s easy to go online and makes purchases and like clockwork have it delivered to our doorstep, but have you ever thought what goes into getting those packages out of the warehouses. Amazon now reveals how an army of robots runs its fulfillment centers.
Kiva Systems, a robotic company is a subsidiary owned by Amazon. Kiva uses automated technology for fulfillment centers that helps Amazon simplify operations and reduce costs while increasing productivity. Traditionally you would see individual employees moving around the warehouse to collect required items from shelves. This is a time consuming process especially if the warehouse is large. Using hundreds of autonomous mobile robots and sophisticated control software, the Kiva Mobile-robotic Fulfillment System enables extremely fast processes with reduced labor requirements, all the way from receiving the order to picking it off the shelf and shipping it.
Amazon has installed more than 15,000 robots across 10 US warehouses across five states-California, Texas, Florida, New Jersey, and Washington. The orange, 320 pound robots, which scoot around the floor on wheels is making the work load easy. The robots are designed to help the leading US online retailer speed the time it takes to deliver items to customers and better compete with actual retail stores where the bulk of Americans still do their shopping. Workers stack goods in shelves carried by more than 1,500 Kiva robots, which use markings on the floor to navigate. A worker calls for specific items and the robots steers itself to their particular work station. Sensors on the robots help them detect and avoid obstacle. Each robot can carry as much as 720 pounds. In some cases, the robots have allowed Amazon to get packages out the door in as little as 13 minutes, compared to about an hour and a half on average in older centers.