Does Amazon Use Robots? (All You Need to Know)

Allen A. Brake

Automation has become an integral part of many modern business operations. That’s why many companies are using robots and automation to increase production and product quality, compensate for worker shortages, and improve service delivery, the working environment, and general operations. So, does Amazon use robots?

When you place an order on Amazon, your order goes through a wide range of processes before being delivered. You can also effortlessly request a replacement or refund. To achieve its seamless operations, Amazon uses a wide range of robots that help them process customer orders as quickly as possible.

Keep reading this article to learn more about how Amazon uses robots.

Table Of Contents

Does Amazon Use Robots?

Yes, Amazon started using Robots back in 2012 after it acquired Kiva Systems, which it later renamed Amazon Robotics. The acquisition of this breed of mobile robots gave Amazon the technical foundation to build more versions of warehouse robotics.

This made Amazon lead the way in implementing robots in its facilities. Amazon uses around 520,000 mobile drive unit robots in its fulfillment centers worldwide. These robots can carry shelves of products from worker to worker, read barcodes and simplify more tasks.

What Do Amazon Robots Do?

Amazon has a wide variety of robots in its distribution and fulfillment centers that perform various tasks. The original Kiva robot that Amazon initially obtained from Kiva Systems had a dive unit that could lift 1000 pounds. Therefore, it is used to move shelves or pods for storage and picking. Another original robot used by Amazon is Palletizers.

Palletizers use an arm to grab totes containing orders from conveyor belts and then stack them on pallets for shipping, packaging, or storage. Amazon also uses Robo-stow to deliver various products to different levels of its fulfillment centers. This robotic arm can also place these items on drive units that transport them to different parts of their facilities.

Even though Amazon has thousands of robots, it’s still developing and testing new models. Amazon is developing Ernie, a robot that can take packages at different heights on the shelves, then use its robotic arm to get them to warehouse employees. Amazon is also investing in autonomous mobile Robots (AMRs) designed to navigate facilities independently.

These robots have integrated vision systems, higher resolution cameras, object detection, and obstacle avoidance capabilities to help them navigate Amazon facilities. They would also have automatic damage and repair mechanics in their tracks. One of Amazon’s AMRs being tested is nicknamed Bert.

Rather than being limited to a specific area, Bert would have the capability to transport items across a facility. Amazon is also working on Scooter that would automatically pull carts across Amazon’s fulfillment centers and Kermit to move empty packages from the warehouse to the order fulfillment centers.

Why Does Amazon Use Robots?

Amazon started using robots to automate various aspects of its warehouse operations and improve its packing and shipping efficiency. It also invested in robotics to make its warehouses safer for its employees and, in turn, improve its productivity. After deploying robots, they made it possible for Amazon to store 40% more inventory.

Amazon robots also automate tasks like packing, labeling, and managing inventory. This made it easier for Amazon to improve its shipping and delivery times, offering a more consistent customer experience. This also meant that items would not run out of stock. In its bid to fulfilling its customer’s desire for speedier delivery, Amazon hopes to offer 30-minute delivery with the help of robots.

They also acquired robots to help them maintain competitive pricing on their marketplace, improve their employees’ working conditions in addition to ensuring customer satisfaction. The Amazon robots can also potentially eliminate some of the most menial, dull, and repetitive tasks.

These robots would perform tasks like pulling boxes or moving products across massive warehouses in place of workers. This meant that Amazon workers who were supposed to walk miles daily would focus on more complex tasks. With much of that walking eliminated, the injury rate in Amazon warehouses significantly dropped.

Which Amazon Warehouses Use Robots?

Amazon has over 520000 mobile drive robots in its distribution and fulfillment centers across the world. However, more than half of its robots are found in warehouses in the United States. That said, Amazon has a more robots-to-human employees ratio in fulfillment centers in the Mis-Atlantic region of the US, including New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania, as well as Amazon’s flagship warehouse in Washington.

Who Creates the Robots for Amazon

Since the ownership of Kiva Systems by Amazon, most Amazon robots have been developed internally. Amazon does not share its advancements with other companies. However, Amazon’s Robostows were manufactured by a German company called Thiele Robotics. Besides that, Amazon only focuses on internal developments and does not plan to involve other companies in their technological advancements.

What are the Types of Robots at Amazon

Amazon has deployed a wide range of robots to help them achieve various goals in their facilities. Some of the common types of robots in Amazon facilities include:

How Do Robots Help Speed Up Fulfillment of Orders at Some Amazon Warehouses?

Most robots in Amazon fulfillment centers have a top speed of 3 miles per hour and are strategically engineered for maximum efficiency. These robots significantly speed up the fulfillment of orders in Amazon warehouses by automating repetitive tasks like packing, labeling, and sorting packages. Amazon robots also reduce the length of trips that warehouse employees must take to fulfill orders.

Automating travel between picking means less congestion, and items can be easily transported to humans for packaging. In addition, automated mobile robots leverage AI to optimize pick routes in real time. This significantly reduces the overall time spent on fulfilling orders at Amazon facilities.


To improve speed, product delivery, and employee work experience, Amazon is pushing technological breakthroughs using robotics. Amazon robots have played a critical role in helping Amazon expand its ecommerce business. In the near future, Amazon will have invented even more robots to help it speed up the fulfillment of orders while keeping its employees safe and more productive.

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