Amazon has debuted a warehouse robot that can pick up and sort millions of individual unpackaged products, in a move that will automate more jobs as the US ecommerce giant faces pressure to significantly cut logistics costs.
The group said the robot, named Sparrow, is its first one with the capability to “detect, select, and handle individual products in our inventory”, a task that had previously been the exclusive domain of Amazon’s warehouse employees. Sparrow, a robotic arm that harnesses computer vision technology to identify and pick up small products, was unveiled at an event recently. The ecommerce group said the robot would “benefit” its employees, who could now focus on less repetitive tasks in the company’s warehouses. It said 700 new “categories” of jobs had been created at the company related to robotics.