Amazon
Magic Vest

Amazon Built Vests to Protect Warehouse Workers From Its Robots

byVictor Tangermann
1. 18. 19
Amazon

Don't take off the vest!

Magic Vest

We already knew that working at one of Amazon’s warehouses could be hazardous. Amazon Robotics’ latest product could protect workers — but its existence is a strange vision of human-robot relations.

TechCrunch reports that the online retail giant’s in-house design firm had to come up with a solution — in the form of a vest — to protect workers from warehouse robots. The vest sends signals to nearby robots telling them to slow down in order to avoid a collision.

“In the past, associates would mark out the grid of cells where they would be working in order to enable the robotic traffic planner to smartly route around that region,” Amazon Robotics VP Brad Porter told TechCrunch. “What the vest allows the robots to do is detect the human from farther away and smartly update its travel plan to steer clear.”

Bad Robots

There have been a couple of incidents between robots and warehouse workers in the past. A robot malfunctioned in an Amazon warehouse in New Jersey back in December, tearing open a can of bear spray, and injuring dozens of workers in the vicinity.

Advertisement

But safety advocates are paying attention. Last year, the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health put Amazon on its “dirty dozen” list of the most dangerous U.S.-based companies to work for, nothing that seven workers were killed at Amazon’s warehouses since 2013.

It’s a gesture of goodwill for Amazon’s warehouse workers, but will it be enough to keep the robots at bay? Let’s hope we won’t find out the hard way.

READ MORE: Amazon built an electronic vest to improve worker/robot interactions [TechCrunch]

More on Amazon’s Warehouses: An Amazon Warehouse Robot Sprayed 24 Workers With Bear Repellent

Advertisement


Futurism Readers: Find out how much you could save by switching to solar power at UnderstandSolar.com. By signing up through this link, Futurism.com may receive a small commission.

Share This Article

Copyright ©, Camden Media Inc All Rights Reserved. See our User Agreement, Privacy Policy and Data Use Policy. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with prior written permission of Futurism. Fonts by Typekit and Monotype.