The Amazon Picking Challenge
Amazon has created The Amazon Picking Challenge to spur improvements in picking robot performance. These are the robots that fill boxes in Amazon’s warehouses, a job currently performed largely by humans.
Amazon is able to quickly package and ship millions of items to customers from a network of fulfillment centers all over the globe. This wouldn’t be possible without leveraging cutting-edge advances in technology. Amazon’s automated warehouses are successful at removing much of the walking and searching for items within a warehouse. However, commercially viable automated picking in unstructured environments still remains a difficult challenge. In order to spur the advancement of this fundamental technology we are excited to be organizing the first Amazon Picking Challenge at ICRA 2015.
Amazon wants to get better at this, presumably to employ fewer humans.