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A quick trip to MARS – TechCrunch

A quick trip to MARS – TechCrunch

Greetings from Las Vegas, where it’s 105 degrees outside, but it mostly doesn’t matter because you can’t figure out how to get outside. I’m here this week for my first-ever re:Mars. It’s wild being back in Vegas for the first time since January 2020, which hasn’t really changed but is somehow completely different.

I’m here mostly to chat with folks about AI and robots, and there’s thus far been plenty of both. During yesterday’s keynote, chief technologist Tye Brady debuted some of Amazon Robotics’ forthcoming robots, which will join the 520,000 or so it’s already debuted across its fulfillment and sorting centers.

Image Credits: TechCrunch

This year’s event was an opportunity to mark 10 years of Amazon Robotics, which effectively began life when the retailer acquired Kiva Systems, back in 2012. Kiva’s floor robots have served as a platform around which the company’s subsequent robots have been built. For that reason, it’s not really a surprise that the company chose the familiar form factor for its new autonomous robot, Proteus. Amazon notes:

Proteus autonomously moves through our facilities using advanced safety, perception and navigation technology developed by Amazon. The robot was built to be automatically directed to perform its work and move around employees — meaning it has no need to be confined to restricted areas. It can operate in a manner that augments simple, safe interaction between technology and people — opening up a broader range of possible uses to help our employees — such as the lifting and movement of GoCarts, the non-automated, wheeled transports used to move packages through our facilities.

Image Credits: Amazon

I have strong suspicions the system was an outgrowth of the company’s 2019 acquisition of…

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