Amazon has announced it will invest €700m (£600m) across its European fulfilment centre network between 2019 and 2024 to enable robotics and AI-powered technologies.

Robotic arm sorting packages at Amazon Innovation Lab

Amazon’s Operations Innovation Lab is said to be one of Europe’s most advanced centres for robotic innovation

The tech giant has been using its innovation lab in Vercelli, Italy, to develop and test new technologies, which has seen its global mechatronics and sustainable packaging team install more than 1,000 new robotics and AI-powered innovations over five years.

The Amazon Operations Innovation Lab is said to be one of Europe’s most advanced centres for robotic innovation. It will soon be open for tours, allowing the public an insight into how Amazon creates and develops new innovations.

The technologies at the lab include item sorters, pallet movers and automated guide vehicles, innovations that the company said “actively support Amazon’s employees in their roles across the company’s sites”. 

Amazon said more than 50,000 jobs in fulfilment centres in Europe have been enhanced by the introduction of new technologies in the last decade through supporting employees with tasks, providing a safer working environment and offering opportunities to upscale.

It also said robotics and AI-powered innovation improve price, selection and convenience for Amazon’s customers, which enabled the business to deliver to Prime members at “the fastest speeds ever globally” in 2023, with more than 7 billion units arriving on the same or next day.


Tech at the lab includes item sorters, pallet movers and automated guide vehicles

Amazon director of global robotics, mechatronics and sustainable packaging Stefano La Rovere said: “We are proud to open the doors of our lab, not only as a hub of innovation for Amazon, but to encourage customers, schools and start-ups to be inspired and learn about the potential for technologies to create a better and safer future of work. 

“At Amazon, our commitment to thinking big runs deep – over five years to the end of 2024, we will have invested over €700m in the deployment of more than 1,000 robotics systems across our European fulfilment centre network. In addition, the introduction of new technologies over the last 10 years has enhanced 50,000 new jobs within our operations in Europe.

“The lab is host to a diverse and international team of engineers and scientists dedicated to finding innovative ways to enhance everyday tasks for our employees, providing a safer workplace while consistently delivering for our customers.” 

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