Amazon Tests Robots to Improve Worker Safety

The online retailer wants to reduce recordable injuries 50% by 2025.
Amazon Tests Robots to Improve Worker Safety
Image credit: 4kodiak | Getty Images

Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox

Stay informed and join our daily newsletter now!
2 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Meet Ernie, Bert, Scooter and Kermit. They’re the robots Amazon introduced in a blog post on Sunday, Fox Business Network reports.  

Ernie is a system that uses a robotic arm to bring totes from shelves to workers, allowing individuals to stay in a "more comfortable, stable, and ergonomically-friendly position" during the day.

Bert is the company’s first autonomous mobile robot that can navigate freely, carrying items around fulfillment centers and possibly moving heavier items down the road.

Related: How to Sell More on Amazon Prime Day 2021

Scooter and Kermit are autonomous carts that will be used to transport empty packages across facilities. Kermit follows strategically placed magnetic tape and tags, and can adjust its speed and direction.

The four ‘bots are being tested at the company’s research and innovation lab in Seattle as part of a $300 million investment to improve safety in 2021.

In 2020, Amazon’s serious injury rate was almost 80% higher than "all other employers in the warehousing industry,” according to the Strategic Organizing Center’s “Primed for Pain” report.

Related: Amazon Will Stop Testing Employees for Weed

The SOC cited 27,000 recordable injuries for the online retail giant --- defined as anything that needs medical service beyond first aid or limits a worker from continuing a job.

According to surveyed employees, there were 5.9 serious injuries for every 100 individuals, mostly due to “production pressure or speed.”

The SOC says "Amazon’s abysmal health and safety record is not an accident...[but rather] the predictable outcome of a company that prioritizes...profits over [workers’] health and safety.”

The online giant says it first incorporated robotics at its facilities in 2012.

Since then, Amazon claims it has added 50,000 mobile drive unit robots and created over 1 million jobs.

Related: Horrifying Video Goes Viral After 67-Year-Old Woman is Attacked by Amazon Driver

More from Entrepreneur
Our Franchise Advisors are here to help you throughout the entire process of building your franchise organization!
  1. Schedule a FREE one-on-one session with a Franchise Advisor
  2. Choose one of our programs that matches your needs, budget, and timeline
  3. Launch your new franchise organization
Entrepreneur Insider members enjoy exclusive access to business resources for just $5/mo:
  • Premium articles, videos, and webinars
  • An ad-free experience
  • A weekly newsletter
  • A 1-year Entrepreneur magazine subscription delivered directly to you
Make sure you’re covered for physical injuries or property damage that occur at work by
  • Providing us with basic information about your business
  • Verifying details about your business with one of our specialists
  • Speaking with an agent who is specifically suited to insure your business

Latest on Entrepreneur