Amazon is experimenting with a two-legged robot that can lift boxes. At the same time, it has rolled out another robot at a Houston warehouse.
Amazon is testing a humanoid robot that it said can grasp and lift items as the company ramps up its efforts to automate warehouses.
The company announced at an event in the United States that it began testing the robot created by start-up Agility this week.
Amazon Robotics chief technologist Tye Brady said the so-called Digit robot testing is in its “very, very early stages”.
“We’re taking a lot of care to understand it better and see if there’s a fit for our processes,” he added.
It is unclear if Amazon will use the two-legged robot in factories and if it will impact jobs.
Brady told reporters that although the robot will make some jobs redundant, deploying the robots would create new employment opportunities, according to the Guardian.
Amazon said Digit can “work collaboratively with employees”.
"Our initial use for this technology will be to help employees with tote recycling, a highly repetitive process of picking up and moving empty totes once inventory has been completely picked out of them," the company added.
Meanwhile, Amazon also said on Wednesday that it was using another robotic system at one of its Houston warehouses. The technology called “Sequoia” uses mobile robots and robotic arms. The company said it would improve inventory management by 75 per cent and speed up deliveries by as much as 25 per cent.
Amazon has been investing heavily in technology to automate its warehouses. Last April the retail giant announced a $1 billion (around €950 million) “Industrial Innovation” fund. Agility was one of the companies to receive the investment.
Amazon has always upheld that robots and humans can work alongside one another.
“Collaborative robotics involves people. How can we have people be the stars, the spotlight, the centre of the show, when it comes to the jobs that we have to do?” Brady told the audience at an event unveiling the company’s latest innovations on Wednesday.
“When we do our job really, really well, our robotic systems just kind of blend into the background to become ubiquitous. You don’t talk about your dishwasher too much in your kitchen.”