You can’t discuss fulfillment robots without mentioning Amazon. Over the past decade, the retail juggernaut has become the 800-pound gorilla in the category, courtesy of several key acquisitions and seemingly endless resources. And while warehouse robotics and automation have been accelerated amid the pandemic and resulting employment crunch, Amazon Robotics has been driving these categories for years now.
This week at its annual Re:Mars conference in Las Vegas, the company celebrated a decade of its robotics division, which was effectively born with its acquisition of Kiva Systems. Over the course of its life, Amazon Robotics has deployed more than 520,000 robotic drive units, across its fulfillment and sort centers. From the outside, it’s been a tremendous success in the company’s push toward same- and next-day package delivery, and its driven the competition to look for their own third-party robotics solutions, bolstering startups like Locus, Fetch and Berkshire Grey.
Amazon Robotics head Tye Brady took to the stage at today’s event to offer a glimpse at what the future will look like for its in-house automated systems. At the heart of the news are two new robots: Proteus and Cardinal, an autonomous floor system and a robotic arm, respectively. The new robots are being integrated into the same shelf/cell system that’s been in place since Kiva.Tech Crunch