TECH

Amazon Has Started Filling Its Warehouses With Worker Robots

01/12/2014 10:02 GMT | Updated 01/12/2014 10:59 GMT

This is the Kiva. It's a robot. And it's better at picking your Amazon order than a human.

When it comes to distribution, it seems, humans are not... the best. Working in a warehouse requires strong legs, infinite levels of patience and the ability to stay focused while under intense pressure to perform for relatively low wages.

Kiva reduces almost all of those risks to zero because instead of humans going around the distribution centre and grabbing the products, Kiva goes out, grabs the entire shelf and brings it to the human.

amazon kiva

The robots are part of a connected network that means each robot knows where the other is, allowing it to move at around 4-5mph without ever worrying about crashing into another.

With powerful jacks on the tops, the Kiva moves into position under the shelf stack, physically lifts it and then carries it to the human operator who then distributes the package out into the wider system.

Amazon has over 15,000 of these robots now spread out over 10 warehouse in North America and despite this veritable army of silicon and motors the company claims that it hasn't cut jobs, instead it claims it's hiring more people.

CNET reports that over half of human jobs will be replaced by robots in 10-20 years suggesting that robots aren't about to start replacing us, they already have.