It weighs 145 kilograms and can transport 340 kilograms. Kiva is the name of the Amazon robot that has fundamentally changed the relationship between technology and employees.

Amazon grows. For the online giant, not only the number of employees is increasing, but also the number of robots. The company “Kiva Robotics” took over in 2012. By 2015, 30,000 robots were already in use with around 230,000 employees. Last year, the proportion had risen significantly once again: According to estimates, there were around 120,000 robots per 566,000 employees. In 2017, the first transport robots were deployed in Germany, at the Winsen logistics center. At the Amazon logistics center in Frankenthal, which opened this year, machines also support the employees. The main task of the Amazon robots is to drive the shelves with the goods directly to the workstations. The products are picked there and then packed for dispatch. This shortens the walking distances for the employees. In addition, the robots have massively reduced the processing times for orders, according to Amazon.

The Amazon robots shorten order processing times

Thanks to Amazon robots, jobs that used to take hours can now sometimes be completed in a matter of minutes. The machines also help to make better use of storage space. In Frankenthal, Amazon’s newest German logistics centre, several thousand parcels are shipped daily to customers in Europe. There are currently over two million items in stock. In September, the 1000th employee was hired there. Johannes Weingärtner, site manager of the Amazon logistics centre in Frankenthal: “We are very satisfied with the development of the site since it opened. We are continuing to hire new staff”.

Machines should support employees, not replace them

Input for the Amazon robots also comes from Germany. The online giant appreciates Germany’s leading role in machine learning. The company’s own development centre in Berlin supports Amazon’s research on artificial intelligence with scientific teams in the fields of computer vision, robotics, machine translation and demand forecasting. “For over 16 years, our European development centers have been an important part of our mission to research innovations on behalf of customers around the world,” said Jeff Wilke, CEO Worldwide Consumer, Amazon. “Many of the products and services our customers love come from Europe.” At the same time, the company assures that Amazon robots do not replace employees, but only support them. Since the machines started operating at Amazon, 300,000 new jobs have been created at the company. New logistics centres and new jobs are also planned for the future.

 

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Link: More and more Amazon robots support the employees in the logistics of the online giant

Image: Amazon

//KH