Category: re:mars 2019

June 6, 2019 Off

How Amazon’s delivery robots will navigate your sidewalk

By Jill T Frey

Earlier this year, Amazon announced its Scout sidewalk delivery robot. At the time, details were sparse, except for the fact that the company had started to make deliveries in a neighborhood in Washington State. Today, at Amazon’s re:Mars conference, I sat down with Sean Scott, the VP in charge of Scout, to talk about how his team built the robot, how it finds its way around and what its future looks like.

These relatively small blue robots could be roaming a sidewalk near you soon, though as of now, Amazon isn’t quite ready to talk about when and where it will expand its network from its single neighborhood to other areas.

“For the last decade, we’ve invested billions of dollars in cargo planes and delivery vans, fulfillment center robots, and last holiday period, we shipped over a billion products with Prime free shipping,” Scott told me. “So it’s my … Read the rest

June 6, 2019 Off

Jeff Bezos wants to build the infrastructure for space startups

By Jill T Frey

At its re:Mars conference, Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos took the stage today to be “interviewed” by Jenny Freshwater, Amazon’s director of forecasting. As any AWS machine learning tool could have forecasted, having an employee interview her boss didn’t lead to any challenging questions or especially illuminating answers, but Bezos did get a chance to talk about a variety of topics, ranging from business advice to his plans for Blue Origin.

We can safely ignore the business advice, given that Amazon’s principle of “disagree and commit” is about as well known as it could be, but his comments about Blue Origin, his plans for moon exploration and its relationship to startups were quite interesting.

He noted that we now know so much more about the moon than ever before, including that it does provide a number of resources that make it a good base for further space exploration. “The reason … Read the rest

June 5, 2019 Off

Amazon says it has deployed more than 200,000 robotic drives globally

By Jill T Frey

Amazon is serious about robotics. For most other companies, the technology may still feel like some distant novelty, but the e-commerce giant has already begun to deploy robotics systems en masse. Robotics VP Brad Porter noted onstage today at the re:MARS conference in Las Vegas that the company has deployed 200,000 robotics drives globally.

Earlier this year, it noted that it had more than 100,000 robotics systems deployed across roughly 25 fulfillment centers here in the States, a number that includes both its own homegrown systems and third-parties. We captured both on a recent trip to the company’s massive Staten Island fulfillment center, though Amazon’s own Kiva-based systems clearly form the heart of the operation.

This morning, Amazon announced a pair of new robots, Xanthus and Pegasus. It noted at the event that it already has 800 of the latter, a warehouse package-delivery robot, deployed in U.S. fulfillment centers.… Read the rest

June 5, 2019 Off

Amazon will use AI to help you shop for clothes with StyleSnap

By Jill T Frey

On its face, Amazon’s first re:MARS conference is all about far-out, world-changing ideas, but the company is still very much a retailer at heart. Fitting then, that one of the first big announcements from this morning’s event is all about using artificial intelligence to help people better shop for clothes.

Amazon’s been talking about similar initiatives for a while, but StyleSnap looks to actually be coming soon via the Aamazon iOS and Android app (though the actual time frame is still TBD).

Amazon’s Consumer Worldwide CEO Jeff Wilke introduced the feature today, telling the crowd, “When a customer uploads an image, we use deep learning for object detection to identify the various apparel items in the image and categorize them into classes like dresses or shirts. We then find the most similar items that are available on Amazon.”

The feature will be accessible by clicking the camera icon in the … Read the rest