To improve efficiency.
Speaking at the Hong Kong Electronics Fair, Amazon Web Services solutions architect, Olivier Klein discussed how parent company and online retailer, Amazon.com, is maximising the value of its warehouse facilities through its investment in artificial intelligence. “Robots do the picking in our warehouses and the shelving is not as you would imagine in your traditional warehouse facility. Products in the same category are not necessarily stored together, they are all over the place,” Klein said.
“Why do we do that? It is a perfect example of IoT. All of the robots are connected to a system. They know how to drive on highways and streets and how to navigate within the warehouse, knowing exactly where products are stored,” he explained.
“The order is not in fact random. We store them in a manner on how they are bought. We understand the buying patterns of our customers. The warehouse mechanism stores products with exactly the same logic as those after-sales emails, you receive that say, ‘You just bought this product, so we think you may be interested in these products.’
“The robots also talk to each other – of course they have sensors not to bump into each other but they send information back to the system around how they drive around the warehouse. You don’t want the robots all queued up next to a product at the shelf. It’s all about efficiency and planning the route in accordance to the other robots,” he said.