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Inside Amazon’s Robotics Ecosystem

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The Robot Report
August 22, 2022
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Amazon’s last-mile delivery robot, Scout. | Source: Amazon

Summary

As we continue to explore how robotic innovations are impacting Industry 4.0 this month, The Robot Report shares how e-commerce giant Amazon has created a robotic ecosystem like none other. It's a look at the company’s robotics acquisitions and some of its investments and notable robots developed internally.

A decade after Amazon made its first foray into robotics with its acquisition of Kiva Systems, the e-commerce giant is acquiring iRobot for $1.7 billion.

While completion of the transaction is still subject to customary closing conditions, the deal expands Amazon’s already extensive robotics portfolio. Here’s a look at the company’s robotics acquisitions and some of its investments and notable robots developed internally.

Kiva Systems

It’s impossible to talk about Amazon’s history in robotics without talking about Kiva Systems. Amazon acquired the mobile robot company in 2012 for $775 million. At the time, it was Amazon’s second-largest acquisition ever.

Kiva initially continued to provide mobile robots to its existing customers, but that quickly came to an end. And in 2015, it became Amazon Robotics. Kiva’s automated guided vehicles (AGVs) use computerized barcode stickers on the floor to navigate Amazon’s warehouses.

Amazon Robotics recently announced its first autonomous mobile robot (AMR), Proteus. It does similar tasks as the Kiva robots, but can work freely around Amazon workers instead of caged off areas.

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The Robot Report
The Robot Report

The Robot Report delivers first-hand reports, and features news and stories focusing on general robotics, industrial robots, AI for robots, robot software, and mobile robots of all types. The Robotics Summit & Expo is a multifaceted educational forum and showcase dedicated to addressing the technical issues involved with the design, development, manufacture, and delivery of commercial robotics and intelligent systems products and services.

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