Grasping Robots Compete to Rule Amazon’s Warehouses

August 9, 2017 -

Source: Wired

Amazon employs 45,000 robots, but they all have something missing: hands.

Squat wheeled machines carry boxes around in more than 20 of the company’s cavernous fulfillment centers across the globe. But it falls exclusively to humans to do things like pulling items from shelves or placing them into those brown boxes that bring garbage bags and pens and books to our homes. Robots able to help with so-called picking tasks would boost Amazon’s efficiency—and make it much less reliant on human workers. It’s why the company has invited a motley crew of mechanical arms, grippers, suction cups—and their human handlers—to Nagoya, Japan, this week to show off their manipulation skills.

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