Amazon Launches Groundbreaking Robotics System Sequoia to Boost Speed and Safety at Fulfillment Centers
Amazon has unveiled a groundbreaking robotics system, Sequoia, designed to enhance speed and safety at its busy fulfillment centers. With the holiday shopping season approaching, this new technology will aid in fulfilling customer orders more efficiently and accurately while prioritizing employee safety.
Sequoia is revolutionizing how inventory is stored and managed at Amazon’s fulfillment centers. Its implementation allows for inventory to be identified and stored up to 75% faster than current methods, enabling items to be listed on Amazon.com more quickly. Moreover, the time taken to process orders through the fulfillment center is reduced by up to 25%, improving shipping predictability and enabling faster Same-Day or Next-Day shipping options for customers.
This cutting-edge robotics system integrates various robot systems, including mobile robots, gantry systems, robotic arms, and an ergonomic employee workstation. The process begins with mobile robots transporting containerized inventory to a gantry, which can restock totes or send them to employees for order picking. To enhance safety and efficiency, employees work at newly-designed ergonomic workstations within their power zone, eliminating the need for reaching above their heads or squatting down.
Once customer orders are picked, Sequoia ensures the remaining inventory is consolidated for efficient storage. This is where Sparrow, Amazon’s newest robotic arm, comes into play. Sparrow effectively consolidates inventory in totes, allowing full totes to be returned to storage.
Sequoia is part of Amazon’s ongoing commitment to workplace safety and the relentless pursuit of automation to enhance operations. The collaboration between Amazon’s technology teams and operations employees has resulted in significant positive impacts. In 2022, Amazon Robotics sites reported recordable incident rates 15% lower and lost-time incident rates 18% lower than non-robotics sites.
Furthermore, Amazon continues to explore novel approaches to automation. The company is currently testing mobile manipulator solutions at its robotics research and development site near Seattle. Additionally, Amazon has partnered with Agility Robotics to test Digit, a bipedal robot. Digit’s capabilities include grasping and handling items in warehouse spaces and corners, making it well-suited for collaborative work with employees. Initially, Digit will assist with tote recycling, a repetitive process of moving empty totes.
By deploying advanced robotics systems like Sequoia and Digit, Amazon aims to create a collaborative environment that supports and empowers its employees. Over the past decade, Amazon has created hundreds of thousands of new jobs within its operations while simultaneously introducing innovative technology and providing training for employees to develop new skills.
Amazon’s investment in robotics technology not only enhances workplace safety but also streamlines operations for faster and more accurate customer order fulfillment. With the launch of Sequoia, Amazon continues to prioritize customer satisfaction during the holiday shopping season and beyond.