Amazon robots to invade New York – CNET

Amazon Kiva robot

Amazon’s orange Kiva robots shuttle items to human cohorts.

Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

If Amazon can make it there, it can make it anywhere.

The e-commerce powerhouse said Wednesday that it’s planning to open an order-fulfillment center in New York for the first time ever, a move that might mean faster deliveries for those in the Big Apple and environs.

The Staten Island-based facility will be the first in New York state and will account for more than 2,250 new, full-time jobs “with opportunities for employees to engage with advanced robotics,” the company said in a statement. Employees will work with their robo-companions to pick, pack and ship customer items.

Amazon has been busy on the fulfillment front. Last month it held what it billed as “the nation’s largest job fair,” during which it offered curious potential Amazonians tours and info sessions at ten of its fulfillment centers nationwide. At the time, it said it had 50,000 fulfillment jobs available at various centers in the States.

In 2014, squat orange “Kiva” robots began helping with shipping products at Amazon centers. The ‘bots carry products to humans workers, who pack the items and send them on their way. Amazon is working on creating robots that have the ability to grasp items in addition to shuttling them around, which would let the machines pluck things off shelves.

Critics have said robots could eventually replace human workers entirely. But in the past, Amazon has said “People play a crucial role in fulfillment for Amazon” and has said some tasks simply can’t be performed by ‘bots.

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