E-commerce giant Amazon has revealed a new robot, called Proteus, that can operate alongside humans.
A short, unlisted YouTube video showed Proteus carrying out its work, and stopping before a human in its path. Proteus is shaped like a large, flat disc on wheels. The video showed several such robots moving under stacked trolleys, expanding in order to lift them, and moving the trolleys to different locations.
“Historically, it’s been difficult to safely incorporate robotics in the same physical space as people. We believe Proteus will change that while remaining smart, safe, and collaborative,” the company said in a blog post on Wednesday.
Amazon’s statement noted that it has other robots to handle heavy loads and identify packages. The company also stated that Proteus’ safety and navigation technology was developed in-house.
Proteus is slated to join the outbound ‘GoCart handling areas’ of Amazon fulfillment and sorting centers. GoCarts are used to move Amazon packages through the premises.
“Our vision is to automate GoCart handling throughout the network, which will help reduce the need for people to manually move heavy objects through our facility and instead let them focus on more rewarding work,” said the company.