Workers in some Amazon fulfillment centers have started wearing vests designed to alert robots humans are nearby. Plans for the vests, which were first reported by TechCrunch, predate a recent incident at an Amazon fulfillment warehouse in which bear spray was accidentally set off in what may have been a robot-involved incident. Nevertheless, the vests are clear signal that Amazon is doubling down when it comes to robot safety. Many of the more than 100,000 robots across Amazon's fulfillment centers are designed to accommodate some interaction with people. Sensor-enabled path planning and obstacle avoidance are front-line defenses against robot-involved accidents.
If you have ever thought about investing in a robot vacuum, then you'll know all too well that there are a lot of options to consider. Robot vacuums come in different shapes and sizes, with different batteries, functions, and power outputs. It's difficult to pick the right robot vacuum for you. What often helps when making this decision is to check out what other people think. The Neato Robotics Botvac D5 has been given a five-star rating by 67% of customers on Amazon, which provides a fair degree of assurance that this device works.
Warehouse robots are increasingly taking on the task of collecting the items you order online and getting them ready to ship. It used to take 6-8 weeks for an order to arrive - now Amazon and Walmart can get you your stuff the next day. How are online companies getting you your goods so fast? In many cases, robots are helping to speed things along! Recently, I visited Westlake Village, California startup inVia Robotics.
How many times in the past week do you think your life was affected by a robot? Unless you have a robot vacuum cleaner, you might say that robots had no real impact on your life. Let's take a look at some of the ways robots are being used right now but that you probably have no idea about. Read more: Why R2D2 could be your child's teacher sooner than you think Before we start, we need to define what actually is a robot. There is no official definition of what constitutes a robot, but many roboticists (like me) consider it to be a machine that moves, or has moving parts, and that makes basic decisions while interacting with the world.
Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your Automaton bloggers. We'll also be posting a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next few months; here's what we have so far (send us your events!): Let us know if you have suggestions for next week, and enjoy today's videos. At Amazon, we continually invest in new technologies to benefit customers. We've been hard at work developing a new, fully-electric delivery system – Amazon Scout – designed to safely get packages to customers using autonomous delivery devices.