Amazon works on safer warehouse robots

E-retail giant Amazon has announced that it is developing technology to make its robots safer, as part of its pledge to reduce reportable safety incidents by 50% by 2025.

With The Daily Mail citing “mounting claims” that the company needs to improve warehouse safety, Amazon Robotics and Advanced Technology labs are researching ways to make automated robots safer to protect Amazon’s one million employees. Motion capture technology is being used to gather data about what is happening in the warehouse. This information is being used to develop better systems that make sure that humans and robots can work safely alongside each other. Researchers are also asking employees for their feedback on how to make working conditions safer.

The data being analysed by the lab is also being used to make manual handling equipment safer. As one Amazon researcher said:

“Something as simple as changing the position of handles on totes may help lower the risk of injuries to our employees at a massive scale.”

The new robots being developed do not work any faster, but are designed to be safer.

In another move towards safer warehouses, Amazon aims to develop robots that can take over all jobs carried out by human workers that have an injury risk, such as lifting heavy items and pushing heavily loaded trolleys.

Robots are too expensive for many UK warehouse operators, so they rely on equipment such as aisle picking trolleys to select and transport items. All warehouses need to have detailed risk assessments and provide safety training to keep workers safe.

Posted by Mark
12th July 2021
Retail & Warehousing

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