It’s been a decade of discovery at Amazon. In 2012, we made a big investment to improve productivity in the supply chain by acquiring a robotics com

10 years of Amazon robotics: how robots help sort packages, move product, and improve safety

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2022-06-22 05:00:08

It’s been a decade of discovery at Amazon. In 2012, we made a big investment to improve productivity in the supply chain by acquiring a robotics company called Kiva. Back then, we had some automation in our fulfillment centers, but the Kiva acquisition was a big bet in forecasting the role innovation would play in helping us meet our customers’ needs while making work safer, simpler, and more productive for employees. It was a bold move, and it transformed our business.

Speculation was rampant that Amazon was replacing people with robots. But 10 years on, the facts tell a different story. We have more than 520,000 robotic drive units, and have added over a million jobs, worldwide. We have more than a dozen other types of robotic systems in our facilities around the world, including sort centers and air hubs. From the early days of the Kiva acquisition, our vision was never tied to a binary decision of people or technology. Instead, it was about people and technology working safely and harmoniously together to deliver for our customers. That vision remains today.

While the Kiva acquisition kickstarted the use of robotics and other technology at our facilities, it was just the start of our robotics journey. We continued to innovate in new and exciting areas to improve the customer and employee experience and create an even safer workplace. And that innovation continues. Below are some of the latest technologies we’re inventing and investing in to create an even better workplace.

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