Amazon has ramped up its automation in dozens of its warehouses across the US, introducing camera systems which automatically track items like its Amazon Go stores.
According to the Financial Times, Its warehouse “associates” track the hundreds of thousands of items stored in Amazon’s vast storage facilities by manually scanning their barcodes, and then scanning the barcode of the bin they have been placed in, which are then transported across the floor by robots.
Now Amazon has installed AI cameras and scanners at dozens of its warehouses which can recognise and track which items go in which bins, allowing its workers to work “hands-free”.
“We wanted to get to a point where associates could do what we would call a hands-free stow,” Amazon’s vice president of robotics Brad Porter said.
He added that this had already significantly impacted efficiency and made it easier for associates to handle big bulky items as they could now use both hands, and reduced delays in warehouses which occur when scanners are dropped in the path of robots.
This technology is reportedly an “inverse” of the scanning system Amazon uses in its 13 Go grocery stores, which track items customers put in their baskets and charge their accounts automatically.
Porter explained that “in the same way that Go is trying to detect when you grab something, it’s (detecting) where you’re putting it.”
Amazon Go’s executive Dilip Kumar confirmed that “some of the cameras that we’ve built are also being explored by the fulfilment centres.”
Its not just warehouses that Amazon Go’s cameras and machine learning software is being utilised across Amazon’s network.
The computer vision software is also being used in Amazon’s Ring video doorbells, Blink security cameras, Echo Look devices and its upcoming fleet of intelligent delivery drones.
Its warehouse system is currently in operation at 20 fulfilment centres across the US and it is expected to be introduced to more of its 175 locations spread in the country, which employ a total of 250,000 people.