The world’s largest online retailer Amazon has started testing humanoid robots in American logistics centers. The robot called Digit is intended to relieve employees, but not completely replace them.
Amazon Doesn’t Want To Replace Humans
From now on, Amazon no longer just rely on the warehouse robots that are widely used elsewhere and move goods through the warehouses on special tablets or in boxes. In addition, human-like robots are now being used that have two arms, two legs, and a head.
The company calls these robots Digit and now wants to conduct a test phase to determine whether they can work safely and reliably. The robots walk on two legs in order to be able to overcome differences in height. They can carry collection boxes with their two arms and are also able to fill them with products, even if they are customized orders from customers.
Digit Robot is just a prototype at the moment
According to Amazon, Digit will initially prove itself alongside human employees, which is why they hope that the test operation will provide further experience that will be incorporated into the further development of such systems in the long term. These are still explicitly prototypes that are not used on a large scale.
Digit’s first task is therefore not to pack shipping boxes, but to “recycle” them. The robot therefore stacks the empty collection boxes after packaging the products from an order for reuse. He initially only takes on a small but extremely monotonous task that would otherwise have to be done by a human.
The company insists that the robots in its warehouses are more likely to create new jobs than eliminate jobs. Ultimately, the devices have to be maintained again and again, it is said. Critics such as trade unions see the introduction of robots primarily as an attempt to make Amazon less dependent on people and to replace employees on a large scale.
The Digit robot was actually developed by the company Agility Robotics, which Amazon invested in several years ago in order to secure access to their technologies.
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