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Amazon Is Looking For A Few Good Robots To Stuff Boxes

first_img Review: ‘Daemon X Machina’ Has Big Robots, Small Fun on Nintendo SwitchThis Robot Is Equal Parts Lawnmower and Snow Blower Stay on target On August 2nd, Amazon will hold a job fair at two of its U.S. warehouse locations. They’re making a major push to enlist additional staff. When the dust clears, Amazon hopes to hire around 50,000 new workers.Meanwhile, they’re also gearing up for a future where those new workers have been replaced by robots. Today marks the start of this year’s Amazon Robotics Challenge. Sixteen teams have headed to Japan where they’ll be competing for a cool quarter million dollars in prize money.Bots that can handle picking duties would allow Amazon to fully automate warehouse operations. They’ve already got wheeled units that can autonomously re-arrange warehouse shelving to help humans efficiently fill orders. They’ve been doing all kinds of work on the drone delivery front.Challenge participants are being asked to create robots that can tackle a set of assigned tasks — tasks that closely mimic those a bot might face in one of Amazon’s actual warehouses.In one scenario, for example, they will be presented with an assortment of items like a roll of duct tape, mouse traps, a toilet brush, a pack of pens, ice cube trays, scissors, and a sack of epsom salts. Robots will have to rearrange them into Amazon’s preferred layout.Another simulates picking an actual Amazon customer’s order. From a similar shelf with a similar spread of goods, the robots will need to select only specific items and place them into a box.Amazon’s plan isn’t necessarily to take the winning robot, turn it into a prototype and start field testing it immediately. They are, however, on the lookout for new approaches and (perhaps more importantly) new talent. Bloomberg reports that most of the teams are made up of grad students and academics, some of whom would no doubt be interested in a job offer.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our surveylast_img read more