Amazon Upgrades Fulfillment Centers With 15,000 Robots

Chris CrumBusiness

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Amazon announced the launch of its new robot-driven, eighth-generation fulfillment centers. There are ten locations in California, Texas, Florida, New Jersey and Washington with 15,000 robots.

The warehouses are not only utilizing robots, but also vision systems and other high-end technology aimed at speeding up order delivery times.

“The Amazon fulfillment teams are dedicated to innovating in our fulfillment centers to increase speed of delivery while enabling greater local selection at lower costs for our customers. The advancements in our latest fulfillment centers hit all three of these customer desires while continuing to provide a work environment that is great for employees,” said Dave Clark, Amazon’s senior vice president of worldwide operations and customer service.

The robots are Kiva robots, which came to Amazon courtesy of the company's $775 million acquisition of Kiva Systems in 2012. Here's what they looked like in 2008:

The bots are 320 pounds, and will move around warehouses on wheels.

Amazon will also employ "Robo-Stow," which it describes as one of the world's biggest robotic arms. This will move large quantities of inventory for order fulfillment. New vision systems, it says, will enable the unloading and receipt of a whole trailer of inventory in as little as 30 minutes, as opposed to hours.

Finally, the new centers will utilize high-end, graphically oriented computer systems, which employees will use while fulfilling orders.

It's unclear when Amazon expects to roll the new fulfillment center approach out to the rest of its locations.

The company recently announced it will hire 80,000 seasonal employees to fulfill customer orders throughout the holiday season. This is 14% more than last year. Amazon also says it expects thousands of these people to stay on in regular, full-time positions after the holidays.

Image via Amazon

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.