Amazon Launches Humanoid Robots At Warehouses
The robot was developed by a start-up based in Oregon.
Retail giant Amazon has launched humanoid robots on trial basis at one of its warehouses in the US in a bid to automate its operations. The Guardian quoted Amazon as saying that Digit the two-legged robot can grasp and lift items. The device is being used to shift empty tote boxes at the warehouse, the outlet further said. However, the launch has raised concerns about the effect the robot will have on the company's workforce of almost 1.5 million humans.
But Tye Brady, the chief technologist at Amazon Robotics, claimed that although it will render some jobs redundant, the deployment of robots would create new ones.
Mr Brady said at a press conference that the company wants to "eliminate all the menial, the mundane and the repetitive" tasks inside Amazon's business, The Guardian report further said.
However, a workers' union said that Amazon had "been treating their workers like robots for years".
"Amazon's automation is a head-first race to job losses. We've already seen hundreds of jobs disappear to it in fulfilment centres," Stuart Richards, an organiser at UK trade union GMB, was quoted as saying by the BBC.
The robot was developed by a start-up based in Corvallis, Oregon. Rather than wheels, Digit walks on two legs. It is 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighs 65 kg.
The robot can walk backwards, forwards and sideways, and can even crouch. It has arms that can pick up and move packages, containers, customer orders and objects.
"Our initial use for this technology will be to help employees with tote recycling, a highly repetitive process of picking up and moving empty totes once inventory has been completely picked out of them," Amazon said in a blog post.