Amazon may recruit Ernie and Bert as their new warehouse employees. And no those are not humans but two robots whom the company is testing to move packages, carts, and other items across its fulfilment centres.
By recruiting robots for its warehouse duties Amazon has taken a step towards its goal to reduce recordable warehouse incident rates by 50% and make the job of its employees safer.
Ernie a workstation system is being tested to retrieve items from its warehouse mobile shelves, so the employees won’t have to climb up or bend to retrieve the items themselves. Bert is Amazon’s first autonomous mobile robot that moves on its own and will be carrying items across the warehouse floor. The company says in the future Bert will be able to carry larger heavier items to reduce strain on its employees.
Other than Ernie and Bert two more AI-powered robots are in testing named Scooter and Kermit who will be moving empty carts across the warehouse floor to reduce employee strain and collision.