Amazon now has a robot army to help workers find items within the warehouses. The online retailer has squat, orange, wheeled robots at several U.S. warehouses to move stocked shelves to workers preventing employees from seeking items amid long aisles. Tracy, California’s warehouse replaced four floors of fixed shelving with robots. Having the robots bring the employees a four foot by six foot shelving unit saves employees 20 miles a day of walking through the warehouse. The new system with robots allows the employees to pick and scan 300 items an hour compare to 100 items per hour in the old system.
Amazon’s purchase of Kiva Systems allowed for the robots growth in the warehouses. Amazon plans to deploy 10,000 Kiva robots by year-end. After Amazon’s purchase of Kiva, Amazon stopped selling the robots to other companies to focus on developing their own needs. The robots could save Amazon between $400 million to $900 million a year by reducing the number of times a product is touched. Nonetheless, Amazon projected hiring 80,000 temporary workers to warehouses for the holiday season.