Amazon today provided new information about robots working inside of its facilities. The ecommerce company now has 30,000 Kiva robots working in its fulfillment centers, an executive said during Amazon’s quarterly call with investors today.
That number is up from 15,000 at the end of 2014, said the executive, Phil Hardin, Amazon’s director of investor relations.
“Capital intensity is offset by their density and throughput, so it’s a bit of an investment that has implications for a lot of elements of our cost structure, but we’re happy with Kiva,” Hardin said. “We think it’s a great pairing of our associates with Kiva robots that do some of the hauling of products within the warehouses. It has been a great innovation for us, and we think it makes the warehouse jobs better, and we think it makes our warehouses more effective.”
This is all kinds of interesting. It likely helps Amazon save money, because fewer people are on warehouse floors, and that also means a lower risk of injury.
But it also shows Amazon at the cutting edge of automation in the workplace.
Amazon bought Kiva Systems for $775 million in 2012.