Amazon.com has initiated the use of a cutting-edge robotic system called Sequoia at one of its Houston warehouses, showcasing the company’s commitment to leveraging automation to bolster sales and enhance worker safety.
The Sequoia technology amalgamates various systems, including mobile robots and robotic arms, to streamline inventory management and accelerate the delivery process. Amazon touts that Sequoia can identify and store inventory a remarkable 75 percent faster, consequently reducing the time required to process orders at the warehouse by up to 25 percent.
The e-commerce titan has been making substantial investments in automation for years, employing robots to handle order packaging and developing groundbreaking technologies that enable cashier-less retail stores, among other innovations.
This move comes as numerous major retailers are charting out plans to invest in robotic systems. Industry rival Walmart, for instance, has expressed its expectation that approximately 65 percent of its stores will be serviced by automation by the end of its fiscal year 2026.
In addition to improving efficiency, Amazon is relying on these robotic systems to enhance worker safety, a crucial consideration given previous scrutiny by U.S. safety regulators regarding alleged hazardous conditions at Amazon warehouses.
Furthermore, Amazon has revealed its plans to commence testing of “Digit,” a bipedal robot developed by Agility Robotics, a startup backed by Amazon. Already undergoing testing at Ford, Digit exhibits the ability to move, grasp, and handle items within warehouse environments, potentially revolutionizing operations and furthering Amazon’s automation objectives.