It’s what many of us dreamed of as a child – an army of cute little R2-D2-like robots scurrying around, fulfilling our wishes as we demand. Now that dream is coming true for Amazon, and you’ll be around to see it.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos told a group of investors at a recent shareholder meeting that a wave of robots will soon invade the Amazon warehouses, in order to meet the increasing number of customer orders.
And we’re not talking about a handful of robots – there will be 10,000 of them scampering across Amazon’s warehouse floors by the end of this year.
Currently, there are approximately 1,000 robot workers “employed” by Amazon, but even after the android multiplication, the company claims that the rollout will not affect the number of human workers hired.
The robot expansion comes off the back of Amazon’s US$775 (S$973) million purchase of Kiva Systems two years ago for the sole purpose of increasing the level of automation in its warehouse.
When will we see drones?
We know what you’re thinking – so now that Amazon’s got all these droids scooting around picking up orders, it’s only in time that we’ll get to see drones delivering our orders, right? According to Amazon, it could happen but in the distant future.
Bezos is keen on the idea of drone delivery to your doorstep in 30 minutes, but there are a number of legal and technological hurdles to be addressed before this foresight becomes reality.
Until those issues are ironed out, you’ll have to visit one of Amazon’s warehouses for the time being to catch these robots in action – yes, Amazon has started offering public tours of its warehouses this month.
We can only imagine what a sight that’s going to be.