Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) has introduced its robots from Kiva Systems, machines that work in fulfillment centers, moving around the warehouse floors. The robots are helping Amazon to more quickly fill holiday orders.
Amazon purchased Kiva back in 2012 for $775 million. Together the companies developed little characters that look like a cross between a "Star Wars" character and a space station bot from "Wall-E," reported TechCrunch.
There are 10 of these tech-driven fulfillment centers across the United States—in California, Texas, Washington, Florida, New Jersey—employing more than 15,000 Kiva bots. Other technology inside the centers include Robo-Stow, a gigantic robotic arm that shifts orders, and new inventory systems, which cut down unloading and processing time.
The robots are expected to help speed up shipments on Cyber Monday, one of the busiest days of the year for the online retailer. Last year, customers ordered more than 36.8 million items globally on Amazon, 426 items per second, reported CNet. The company expects that number to rise this year and ChannelAdvisor reported that Amazon's holiday sales were already up 24 percent on Black Friday and 45 percent the next day.
Thus far, Amazon said it has not eliminated any human jobs due to the introduction of Kiva. In fact, the company has roughly doubled its employee base over the past two years since it purchased Kiva.
And its employees must be something right. Amazon once again topped the list for online customer satisfaction, according to Answers Experience Index's annual retail report. The "2014 Retail Report" looked at customer satisfaction scores for the top 100 retail websites, top 30 retail chain stores and top 30 retail mobile experiences, and found that Amazon got a rating of 84 out of 100.
It's been a busy growth year for the retailer. Earlier this year, Amazon began selling new electronic gadgets through its wearable technology store and purchased video game streaming site Twitch for $1 billion. It also launched a smartphone, the Fire Phone, which thus far has not been very successful. Just this month, Amazon expanded its grocery delivery service to include the Brooklyn, New York area. The company even announced it would soon be opening its first physical store in New York City. The list goes on.
However, Amazon reported yet another unprofitable quarter as net losses reached $437 million, up from $41 million in the same period 2013. The continuing losses, due in large part to acquiring and launching new products and services, have left investors wondering if the company is at all concerned about the financial bottom line.
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