Amazon just made its warehouse robots a whole lot quicker, and even smarter

Amazon Sequoia robot system
(Image credit: Amazon)

Amazon has announced a new “set of integrated robotics systems” set to be deployed across its warehouses in a bid to improve worker efficiency and health, as well as hopefully leading to higher customer satisfaction.

Adding to the growing list of more than 750,000 robots already used in Amazon warehouses, the new machine, called Sequoia, promises to reduce the time it takes to process an order through a fulfillment center by up to 25%.

As of October 2023, Sequoia is now operating in a Houston, Texas fulfillment center, but the ecommerce giant has not yet disclosed any plans for a wider rollout.

Amazon warehouse workers get robotic help

In an official announcement, Amazon noted how, “Sequoia allows us to identify and store inventory we receive at our fulfillment centers up to 75% faster than we can today.” 

With the help of Sequoia and its other robots, Amazon is able to list, pick, pack, and ship items quicker as it continues to grow its Prime business.

The combination of robots is designed to bring workers ‘totes’ of products, which they can then process in what Amazon calls their ‘power zone’ - between their thighs and chest. This means less bending and overhead reaching, in turn preventing injuries and maintaining optimal worker health.

According to the company, recordable incident rates were down 15% and lost-time incident rates were 18% lower at Amazon Robotics sites in 2022, compared with non-robotics sites.

Despite the extra assistance, the company is also keen to stress that workers are not at risk. Amazon just recently announced tens of thousands of new job openings in preparation for the festive season, and has also added more than 700 categories of new job types over the last decade, many attributable to robotics.

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Craig Hale

With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!