To make employees remain in a more comfortable, stable, and ergonomically friendly position, Ernie – the robot employee takes totes off of a robotic shelf and uses a robotic arm to deliver it to employees
Amazon said that with the robot employee – Bert, robots no longer need to be confined to restricted areas
These days the use of robotic technology is not uncommon. However, that technology is being taken to a new level by Amazon. According to a blog post, for making the workplace safer, the company is set to get a robot employee.
In several parts of the world, Amazon has fulfilment centres. As products move through the process of fulfilling customer orders, employees currently, pick or stow items onto mobile shelves. Amazon is testing a new workstation system called “Ernie” to potentially reduce the need for employees to reach up or bend down when retrieving items. To make employees remain in a more comfortable, stable, and ergonomically friendly position, Ernie – the robot employee takes totes off of a robotic shelf and uses a robotic arm to deliver it to employees.
“We’re known for being passionate about innovating for customers, but being able to innovate with robotics for our employees is something that gives me an extra kick of motivation each day”, said Kevin Keck, worldwide director of Advanced Technology, Amazon. “The innovation with a robot like Ernie is interesting because while it doesn’t make the process go any faster, we’re optimistic, based on our testing, it can make our facilities safer for employees”, said Keck in the blog post.
One of Amazon’s first Autonomous Mobile Robots, or AMRs – “Bert” is the other robot employee. AMRs like Bert, which is being tested to autonomously navigate through facilities with Amazon-developed advanced safety, perception, and navigation technology, could change that, claims Amazon.
Amazon said that with the robot employee – Bert, robots no longer need to be confined to restricted areas. This means that in the future, to carry items across a facility, an employee could summon Bert. Furthermore, the robot employee – Bert might at some point be able to move larger, heavier items or carts that are used to transport multiple packages through our facilities. By taking those movements on, Bert could help lessen the strain on employees, Amazon noted in the blog post.
“The role robotics and advanced technology can play in not only innovating for customers, but helping make our facilities safer, is a massive motivation for me and my team”, said Keck. “The health and safety of our employees is our number one priority”, he added.