Humans have feared robots taking over their jobs for years, and the worries might come to fruition soon. Amazon recently announced its’ first fully autonomous mobile robot’, “Proteus”, which can move large carts all over its warehouses.
The company claims that it can securely navigate around the human employees, unlike its previous inventions that they had to keep separate in a caged area.
The company claims that Proteus robots contain “advanced safety, perception, and navigation technology”, and a video of them shows a green light shining in front as they move. When an employee steps inside the beam, the robot stops the movement and automatically resumes it after the person is away.
Amazon also announced various other robotic systems. It’s Cardinal robot has an arm capable of lifting and moving packages weighing up to 50 pounds, which the company aims to introduce in the warehouse by next year.
It claims that the computer vision system allows it to select and lift different packages even if they are stored inside a pile.
Amazon’s post also displayed tech that allowed employees to stand in front of the camera that identifies the package without scanning the label.
Find your dream job
Although, there isn’t much detail available besides machine learning combined with a 120 fps camera system. However, the effect is similar to cashier-less stores.
Although the new technology seems fascinating, it also raises potential labor concerns. A recent report suggests that Amazon will have difficulty finding work soon; the company claims that it isn’t looking to incorporate robots to replace human employees.
Amazon’s robotic division told Forbes, “replacing people with machines is just a fallacy,” and it could bankrupt their business. However, machines can play a massive role in setting the work pace that humans can safely cope with, which we have already seen with the company before in the automated management systems.
Amazon claims that the robots are there to increase safety; thus, operating in areas where workers would have to lift and twist heavy packages could lead to injuries. Proteus could potentially “reduce the need for people to move heavy objects manually.”
The company is also working on creating a robot that can deliver containers to employees instead of having them bend and climb to reach different items.
Amazon’s CEO promises to address the injury rates in the warehouses systematically. Although he discredits the reports stating that their workers are hurt at “double the industry rate” by calling them “misunderstood”.