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How Amazon’s robots help you get your order

From the moment you click order on Amazon, little orange robots are arranging the logistics behind your delivery.

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E-commerce giant Amazon is combining AI and ML with human labour at its fulfilment centres, using little orange robots that retrieve products from ‘pods’ and deliver them to store associates.

The bots, which are used at 25 of its fulfilment centres outside Australia, are an example of how the retailer is embracing AI to extend human capability, Tye Brady, Chief Technologist at Amazon Robotics told the Amazon Web Services Summit in Sydney.

The little robots help to fast-track deliveries by speeding up the retrieval process in Amazon’s massive warehouses – which stock thousands of products.

“The robots source the right pod at the right time and brings the item  to the associate and off it goes for your order,” Mr Brady said.

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The retailer also uses smart vests, worn by the store associates, which communicate with the robots so they know the associates location.

The integration of AI with human intelligence is all part of Amazon’s determination to improve the customer experience and ensure a fast delivery process, he said.

“When you combine machine learning with human labor in a smart way by adding technology and having technology that extends human capability you gain more productivity.”

A store associate working with Amazon’s robots to retrieve orders.

While the e-commerce leader will continue to invest in AI to improve the customer experience, human capital is absolutely crucial, Mr Brady said.

“We should and always will invest in our people. Robots are awesome but people are the backbone of our success.”

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