Online retail – and logistics – giant Amazon is planning to employ more robots than humans and expects its robotic workforce to outnumber its human employees in seven years.
This is according to comments by Cathie Wood, founder and CEO, ARK Investment Management, which has more than $14 billion worth of assets under management.
Speaking on CNBC’s Squawk Box show, Wood said: “Amazon is adding about a thousand robots a day.
“If you compare the number of robots Amazon has to the number of employees, it’s about a third. And we believe that by the year 2030 Amazon can have more robots than employees.”
Amazon began its journey into robotics in 2012 with its $775 million acquisition of Kiva Robotics, an early pioneer of the now-ubiquitous autonomous mobile robots seen in warehouses the world over.
A few years later, Amazon established a robotics business unit and began experimenting with many different types of robots for material handling in its warehouses, including robotic arms such as the Sparrow (main picture).
According to TechCrunch, Amazon Robotics had installed 520,000 robotic drive units across its fulfillment and sorting centers as of June, last year.
Moreover, Amazon has changed its Amazon Robotics domain name to “Amazon.jobs” now. And the website talks more about working with robots rather than simply alongside them.