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Amazon to introduce automated vehicles and robot sorters in UK warehouses

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Amazon is planning to introduce robots including automated vehicles and mechanical sorters to its UK warehouses, which it claims will reduce the need to carry heavy loads and reduce the number of repetitive tasks.

Amazon to introduce automated vehicles and robot sorters in UK warehouses

The tech commerce giant, which recently announced it will create 10,000 jobs in 2021, suggested the move will support employees, giving them safer ways of working.

The company said it will introduce automated guided vehicles and robot sorters developed at its European Operations Innovations Lab in Italy.

The new support technologies include item sorters that Amazon claims wall reduces muscle strain by removing the need for an employee to rummage through boxes, to look for items; automated pallet movers that remove the need for forklifts; and machines that lift large boxes and place them on conveyor belts automatically.

There will also be automated guided vehicles that drive around the site carrying items, which are equipped with sensors and follow pre-programmed routes to avoid bumping in to people or machinery. The tech giant claims smaller robotic arms will eliminate repetitious tasks for employees, such as lifting, stacking, and turning.

Amazon said the experimental tech will be deployed at its new site in Doncaster later this year.

Dan Fell, chief executive of Doncaster Chamber of Commerce, said: “Through our partnership on fulfilment centre tours at the height of the pandemic, Amazon has demonstrated to members of the Doncaster Chamber of Commerce and others across the UK how people and technology can work hand-in-hand in the workplace to create a positive, and most importantly, a safe workplace for the benefit of both businesses and their employees.”

Unions have criticised safety at Amazon sites, but Stefano Perego, vice president of Amazon’s fulfilment centre operations in Europe, said: “We prioritise the safety of all our employees and are constantly looking for ways to further improve safety measures in our facilities.

“We want to become the safest place on Earth to work – right across our business. That’s why we continue to invest in technologies and training for our people.”

In April, the company’s CEO Jeff Bezos admitted the company needed to “do a better job for our employees” after seeing off a push for unionisation by Amazon workers in Alabama.

In recent months the company has denied multiple accounts made by Amazon delivery drivers in different countries, including in the UK, that they are routinely forced to urinate in bottles or cups and defecate into bags due to a lack of access to toilets and pressure to meet targets.

All content in this article is for informational purposes only and in no way serves as investment advice. Investing in cryptocurrencies, commodities and stocks is very risky and can lead to capital losses.

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