Amazon Expedites Holiday Season Deliveries with AI, Robotics

With the holiday shopping season in full swing, Amazon tests its AI and robotics capabilities to increase efficiency across its operations.

Amazon is known for pushing the envelope regarding robotics, pioneering many robotic solutions in the warehouse, and it doesn’t look like they’re slowing down any time soon.

Now leveraging AI and robotics, the e-commerce giant is beginning to see the fruits of its labor.

According to an article by Kris Van Cleave and Analisa Novak of CBS News, “Amazon uses AI to analyze and plot delivery routes, adapting in real-time to traffic and weather conditions.”

They continue, “It also uses [artificial] intelligence to forecast daily demand for over 400 million products, predicting where in the world they are likely to be ordered.”

As a result, Amazon’s delivery stations have gone from handling 60,000 to 110,000 packages daily during the holiday season, almost doubling its capacity.

Meanwhile, in the warehouse for the holiday season, Amazon has launched a new robotics solution called ‘Sequoia,’ which has been in operation in Houston, Texas, since October.

Sequoia “helps the company identify and store inventory 75% faster while reducing order processing time by 25%, which helps ensure gifts ordered on Cyber Monday arrive even faster,” CBS News reported.

In an Amazon news release, the company explained, “Sequoia integrates multiple robot systems to containerize our inventory into totes, bringing together mobile robots, gantry systems, robotic arms, and a new ergonomic employee workstation.”

“The system works by having mobile robots transport containerized inventory directly to a gantry, a tall frame with a platform supporting equipment that can either restock totes or send them to an employee to pick out inventory that customers have ordered,” Amazon added.

Interestingly, on top of increasing efficiency, a knock-on effect of adopting robotics has been a decrease in warehouse accidents.

“Company data shows that, in 2022, recordable incident rates and lost-time incident rates were 15% and 18% lower, respectively, at Amazon Robotics sites than non-robotics sites,” said Amazon.

Amazon is also working in partnership with Agility Robotics to produce a ‘bipedal robot’ called ‘Digit,’ a humanoid-like robot that “can move, grasp, and handle items in spaces and corners of warehouses in novel ways.”

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