Amazon has installed more than 15,000 robots to speed up distribution across 10 of its next-generation fulfilment centres in the US.
The centres feature Kiva robots, which pick up shelves of products and take them to warehouse staff, who then pick the product for packing.
The etail giant has implemented Robo-Stow, one of the world’s largest robotic arms, which can move large quantities of inventory for customer order fulfilment, and vision systems that enable the unloading and receipt of an entire trailer of inventory in 30 minutes.
The centres also have high-end graphically oriented computer systems for employees to use while fulfilling orders for customers.
“The Amazon fulfilment teams are dedicated to innovating in our fulfilment centres to increase speed of delivery while enabling greater local selection at lower costs for our customers.
“The advancements in our latest fulfilment centres hit all three of these customer desires while continuing to provide a work environment that is great for employees,” said Amazon senior vice-president of worldwide operations and customer service Dave Clark.
According to Business Insider, the robots have allowed Amazon to hold about 50% more items and shorten the time it takes to delivery. Amazon says it can now get packages out the door in as little as 13 minutes from the pick stations, compared with an hour and a half on average in older centres. According to ABC News, the robots will cut operating costs in its Tracy centre in California by 20%, but the retailer emphasised that it does not plan to cut any jobs.
Amazon plans to hire 80,000 seasonal employees to fulfil customer orders this Christmas, a 14% increase compared with last year.