While Amazon has deployed a variety of robots throughout its supply chain, Proteus stands out for its ability to navigate unrestricted areas employees are present in.
"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," Amazon says.
Proteus autonomously moves through Amazon 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.
Amazon says 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 employees – such as the lifting and movement of GoCarts, the non-automated, wheeled transports used to move packages through the company's facilities.
Proteus will initially be deployed in the outbound GoCart handling areas in Amazon's fulfillment centres and sort centres.
"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," the company said.