On November 10, Amazon introduced its new item-picking robot, Sparrow, designed to detect, select and handle millions of individual warehouse inventory items. Sparrow should also minimize employees’ repetitive tasks and improve worker safety.
As per Amazon, Sparrow is developed to pick out items on shelves so that they can be packed into orders for shipping to customers. It is one of the most challenging tasks in warehouse robotics because different items have different shapes, sizes, and textures. Sparrow uses machine-learning algorithms and cameras to detect items on shelves and plans to grab them using a custom gripper with several suction tubes.
According to Amazon, Sparrow can handle 64 percent of more than 100 billion items in its inventory. It can pick various items like DVDs, socks, and stuffies but needs help with loose or complex packing items.
In the year 2012, Amazon had first introduced robotics, and since then, it deployed over 520,000 robotics drive units globally that are capable of handling a variety of warehouse tasks. Sparrow is built to join Amazon’s earlier robot systems like Robin and Cardinal to streamline and speed up warehouse tasks while freeing human laborers from repetitive, tedious, and dangerous tasks.