Sparrow is Amazon’s new intelligent robotic system that streamlines the fulfillment process by moving individual items before packing, a major technological breakthrough to support its employees.
For the past decade, Amazon has been at the forefront of innovation, making significant investments in robotics, automation, and advanced technology within its operations. Dedicated Amazon specialist teams of robotics specialists have been developing solutions that automate critical capabilities such as how various products are moved, handled, sorted, identified and stored.
A critical part of the fulfillment process occurs even before items are packaged for shipment to customers. Sophisticated technology moves the containers to employees who select the inventory to be packaged. Once items are packaged, existing robotic arms, such as the Robin and the recently announced AGV Cardinal, can redirect the packages to various locations in the warehouse before they begin their delivery journey.
As Amazon comments, «In our focus on robotics, we knew we had an opportunity to do deeper research and development to support the handling of individual products. We have millions of products of all shapes and sizes in our inventory, and we recognized the opportunity.» to invent new technology that could help handle them at Amazon scale. That’s why we’re thrilled to introduce Sparrow, our newest robotic system that significantly improves item handling in our operations. Sparrow is the first robotic system in our warehouses that can spot, select, and manage individual products in our inventory.»
Sparrow represents a breakthrough in the cutting-edge technology of industrial robotics. Leveraging computer vision and artificial intelligence (AI), Sparrow can recognize and handle millions of items. Last year, with the support of Amazon technologies, employees around the world picked up, stored or packed approximately 5 billion packages, or more than 13 million packages per day. Robotic technology enables you to work smarter, not harder, to operate efficiently and safely.
Beyond Sparrow’s technological advances, what’s really exciting are the implications the technology has and the ways it will benefit employees and customers. Sparrow will take over repetitive tasks, allowing Amazon employees to focus their time and energy on other things, while improving security.
At the same time, Sparrow will help drive efficiencies by automating a critical part of our fulfillment process so we can continue to deliver to customers.
Bet on training in robotics and mechatronics
The design and implementation of robotics and technology throughout Amazon’s operations have created more than 700 new job categories that now exist within the company, all thanks to the technology that has been introduced into its operations.
Employing tens of thousands of people at Amazon, these new types of roles help to tangibly demonstrate the positive impact that technology and robotics can have for Amazon employees. Supporting your employees and helping them transition and advance their career into work roles with technology is an important part of how we will continue to innovate.
One example of Amazon’s commitment to advancing employee careers is robotics and mechatronics training. Amazon-covered 12-week classroom learning program is followed by 2,000 hours of on-the-job training and industry-recognized certifications, helping employees learn new skills and perform on-demand technical maintenance roles . After completing the apprenticeship, employee salary increases by approximately 40% for program participants.
“I started part-time at Amazon six years ago loading trailers, a position that was a perfect fit at the time after spending 18 years raising my two children,” said Kelly Monroe, an Amazon mechatronics technician. “When Amazon introduced the mechatronics and robotics apprenticeship program in 2020, I knew this would be the next step in my Amazon career.”
With more than 700 new job categories at Amazon brought to life by the push for robotics and advanced technology, more opportunities are being created for our employees to develop their skills and careers.
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