Another Robot Entering the Fray

The human arsenal might be loaded with valuable traits, but if we are being honest, none of them have been as valuable for us as our tendency to grow on a consistent basis. This tendency, in particular, has already fetched us some huge milestones, with technology appearing as a rather unique member of the stated group. The reason why technology’s credentials are so anomalous is largely down to its skill-set, which was unprecedented enough to guide us towards all the possibilities that nobody could have ever imagined otherwise. Nevertheless, a closer look would reveal how the whole runner was also very much inspired by the way we applied those skills across a real-world environment. The latter component was, in fact, what gave the creation a spectrum-wide presence, and consequentially, kickstarted a tech revolution. This revolution, as we discovered later, will go on to scale up the human experience from every conceivable direction, but even after achieving such a monumental feat, technology will somehow continue to bring all the right goods to the table. The same has only turned more and more over the recent past, and truth be told, Amazon’s latest announcement does a lot to make that trend bigger and better moving forward.

Amazon has officially unveiled a new warehouse robot, which the company says is its first warehouse robot that can “detect, select, and handle individual products.” Named as Sparrow, the robot is understood to use computer vision and artificial intelligence for moving products before they are eventually packaged. Going by Sparrow’s unveiling video, it is well-equipped to pick and move anything from a board game and a set of bed sheets to a small bottle of vitamins, and that’s exactly what makes it so unique. You see, even though Amazon already has the likes of Proteus, a fully autonomous robot designed to move large shelves of products around the warehouse, and Cardinal, a robotic arm for picking up and moving packages that weigh up to 50 pounds, they cannot handle items with varying curvature and size. Sparrow, on its part, can do so with unmatched consistency, thus making the product an ideal candidate to carry out repetitive tasks.

“In our current research and development efforts, we are working with Sparrow to consolidate inventory before it is packaged for customers,” said Xavier Van Chau, a spokesperson for the company. “But the possible applications of this technology in our operations are much broader.”

Since acquiring the robotics company, Kiva Systems almost a decade ago for $775 million, Amazon has been steadily growing its fleet of robots. This increased AI application across its warehouses has even triggered concerns regarding whether the company is trying to replace human jobs with these machines, but so far, Amazon has maintained that it wants human employees to work alongside the stated robots. However, with the company projected to run out workers to hire by 2024, this could all be just a damage control drill.



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