Amazon is one of the greatest eCommerce giants that is ruling the world market today for definite reasons. Even for our tiniest daily needs, we, as consumers, frequent Amazon. Don’t we?
With more than USD 380 billion in revenue and 1.3 million employees worldwide, Amazon has always claimed itself as a customer-centric and employee-centric company.
How does Amazon ensure employee safety in a multifaceted fulfillment center that needs timely delivery? Let’s find out.
Amazon has the best team of health and safety experts and scientists to conduct timely safety inspections. In a workspace where humans and robots work harmoniously together, prioritizing the well-being of the employees is the cornerstone.
A Seattle-area research and innovation lab is fixated on the idea of offering workable solutions that guarantee safety benefits for employees through advanced technology. This team of dedicated professionals is constantly testing their efficiency by taking valuable feedback from the employees in production.
Robotics and leading-edge innovations offer impeccable safety standards
According to Kevin Keck, the worldwide director of Advanced Technology at Amazon, their team is keen on identifying simple changes that impact. He adds that changing the position of the handles on the totes may lower the risk of injuries to their employees. By adopting robotics, Amazon creates robots that put people in a better position.
Ernie is a new workstation robot tested primarily to wipe out back-breaking tasks for the employees at the Amazon facility. It is a robotic arm designed to take totes off the shelf. The purpose of Ernie is to rule out the drudgery of picking out or stowing items on the shelves. With the introduction of Ernie, employees no longer have to work hard to pick up or stow items on the mobile shelf. It takes care of this process and helps employees to be productive by eliminating arduous tasks. Keck says devising a robot-like Ernie makes them passionate about their employees. He also adds that, based on the testing results of Ernie, it can make the facilities a haven for its employees.
The robotics and advanced technology team is collecting valuable feedback on the performance of Ernie and is constantly evaluating its effectiveness on the floor. Teresa Lyksta, who works at the Seattle research and innovation lab, is optimistic about Ernie’s outcome.
Development of autonomous mobile robots
Like Ernie, three other self-governing robots are in the process of development and testing in the same research and innovation lab to lessen the strain on the employees.
Bert, Amazon’s first autonomous mobile robot, is designed with cutting-edge navigation technology to navigate Amazon facilities. Besides this, it can also move heavier carts used to transport various consignments through facilities. Thus, Bert intends to lessen the overload of physical tasks for the employees without a doubt.
Scooter and Kermit are autonomous robots devised to transport carts. Carts collect empty totes and packages at the facility. So, by employing an autonomous robot like Scooter, employees can use their energy in areas where critical thinking is required and give tedious tasks to robots. It pulls carts through the facilities and avoids accidents or collisions. For all the benefits offered, Amazon is also looking forward to deploying a scooter, at least in one Amazon facility, this year.
Kermit is an autonomously guided robot that is in the development stage and tested for production. It is designed to move empty totes from one location to another within the facility. Kermit navigates between locations by following a magnetic tape. It is programmed to speed up, stop, or slow down using tags. Amazon plans to introduce Kermit to various Amazon facilities across North America.
Amazon robotics and advanced technology team have developed novel methods and state-of-the-art gadgets for ensuring the safety and precautions of its employees. To avoid accidents, every employee in the facility wears a robotic tech vest that sends signals to the robots to alert them in case of intrusions.
While there is a common perception that robots will steal human jobs, Amazon’s statistics show that it has added more than 1 million jobs globally. Amazon is using robotics since 2012 and has deployed 350,000 mobile robots in their facilities worldwide without causing any impact on the employment of humans. Also, Amazon has given a platform for people to grow their careers in robotics.