Thursday, October 29, 2015

Amazon Robotics

Amazon changed the way consumers purchase items with Amazon Prime. To speed up the ordering process, Amazon acquired Kiva Systems, which made the process of ordering products faster, easier, and more reliable with the introduction of “Amazon Robotics.”

One benefit is that orders will be processed quickly. In the past, to fulfill an order, workers had to scan racks of merchandise to find the specific product that the customer needs. With Kiva Systems, Amazon has “developed a way to use robots to move the racks on which the products are stored instead of searching for the individual products (Amazon Robotics).” This makes it easy for Amazon to move merchandise around to help prepare orders. Likewise, since robots never tire, there will be no room for human error such as possible injuries due to the lifting of materials or accidental mistakes.

Another benefit is that robotic warehouses can be relocated in 72 hours. Depending on the location of where orders are being shipped, Amazon can pack their entire warehouse and relocate. Robots were also “reprogrammed to deliver rack, to predetermined loading bays, where they ship themselves, along with the racks, directly to a new facility (Amazon Robotics).” Once in the new location, the robots move to prepare for normal operations. This makes Amazon up to date on orders while not being backed up.

A third benefit is that “the robots keep workers at the warehouse fully employed” (Amazon Robotics). Workers work with robotics to maximize time and efficiency. For example, when a worker is not packing an order, he has time to restock shelves or conduct an inventory check of a pod brought in by a robot. This is beneficial because employees will not have to worry about robots replacing them, and with the aid of a worker, orders will speed up. 

Despite these benefits, this article overlooked some points. The cost of these robots are expensive. In other words, Amazon will have to use the bulk of their money to be up to date with technology. Another point is dependency. Since these robots are connected to a single Wifi network, if the Wifi suddenly goes out, everything will be in the dark. With the services offered by Amazon prime, orders will not be shipped out on time, leaving the workers to scramble to figure out what to do. A last point is that although Amazon works with people, this technology replaces more jobs than it creates. Amazon can save money to use on technology by not bringing in new employees since it will take time and money to train these individuals. This can be time and money spent on making sure everything is running smoothly. 

In my opinion, I think Amazon Robotics is an amazing idea. By having robots sort and process all merchandise, there will be no human error, the process will speed up, and customers will continue to be satisfied in knowing that the product they just bought on Amazon will be shipped to them instantly. 

Works Cited

Valerio, Pablo. "Amazon Robotics: IoT In The Warehouse - InformationWeek." InformationWeek. N.p., 28 Sept. 2015. Web. 29 Oct. 2015.

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