Amazon begins testing humanoid robots in warehouses to ‘free up workers’

19 October 2023, 14:54

Amazon financials
Amazon financials. Picture: PA

The technology giant said it was using robots to take on repetitive tasks to free up human workers for other duties.

Amazon is trialling humanoid robots in its warehouses as the US tech giant looks to automate more of its operations.

The company said it was testing a new robot called Digit at a warehouse in Texas, which has arms and legs and can move, grasp and handle items in a similar fashion to a human.

Concerns have been raised over what this move to automation could mean for jobs in Amazon facilities, but the company has argued the technology can help by “freeing employees up to better deliver for our customers”.

In its robotics announcement, Amazon said its robotics systems had in fact helped create “hundred of thousands of new jobs” within its operations.

“This includes 700 categories of new job types, in skilled roles, which didn’t exist within the company beforehand,” the firm said.

According to the tech giant, it now has more than 750,000 robots working “collaboratively” with its human staff, often being used to take on “highly repetitive tasks”.

The Guardian reported that Amazon Robotics chief technologist Tye Brady told reporters during a media event at an Amazon facility in Seattle that people were “irreplaceable”, and pushed back at the suggestion that the company could have fully automated warehouses in the future.

“There’s not any part of me that thinks that would ever be a reality,” he said.

“People are so central to the fulfillment process; the ability to think at a higher level, the ability to diagnose problems.”

By Press Association

More Technology News

See more More Technology News

AI study

Action needed to protect election from AI disinformation, study says

Dr Laura Cinti looks up at an E.woodii plant growing in a glasshouse at Kew Gardens

AI enlisted in the hunt for female partner for lonely ancient plant

A mobile phone next to a telecoms mast near Dundry, Somerset

Pace required to hit targets on rural mobile signal unsustainable, report says

A NatWest sign

NatWest apologises to customers after mobile and online banking suffer outages

Greg Clark

AI regulators in UK are ‘under-resourced’, warns science committee chairman

Openreach engineer

Plans to build full fibre broadband in more than 500 new places unveiled

TikTok strategy

Tory TikTok launch ‘pathetic’ compared with Labour’s ‘savvier’ approach – expert

Person using laptop

More than 300 million children a year face sexual abuse online, study suggests

There are calls for mobile phones to be totally banned for under 16s

Calls for mobile phones to be totally banned for under 16s

A young girl using a mobile phone (picture posed by model)

Next government should consider banning phones for under-16s, report says

Sir Chris Bryant

AI should be used to develop an app which detects skin cancer, Labour MP says

Handout image from Microsoft of its Copilot virtual assistant displayed on a laptop screen

Microsoft expanding Copilot AI assistant to organise meetings and support teams

Solar panels on a house roof

Octopus Energy launches ‘buy now, pay later’ for solar panels

Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi set for June IPO in welcome boost for London market

A person using a laptop

Nations agree to develop shared risk thresholds for AI as Seoul summit closes

Microsoft new equiment

Data regulator looking into Microsoft’s AI Recall feature