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Meet Amazon’s Busiest Employee, The Kiva Robot

Remember last Cyber Monday? Amazon was the center of attention, but not for its sales. It was in the news for its “drones”. Now Amazon is back, but with .

This year’s news plays perfectly with the growing trend of smarter robots. Amazon’s warehouse robots are almost cute. Named Kiva, they’re like large Roombas, tasked with carrying around warehouse shelves. More important than being cute, Amazon was keen to point out that Kiva helps humans do the hard work of picking the product. The fleet of machines — installed in 10 of Amazon’s US warehouses in California, Texas, New Jersey, Washington and Florida — enable the company to deliver millions of items to customers. Last year, customers ordered more than 36.8 million items globally, or 426 items per second, according to Amazon.

Part of the way Amazon is keeping up are these Kiva robots. Originally made by a company Amazon bought in 2012, the devices have since been integrated with its warehouse technology. There are 15,000 Kiva robots spread across the 10 warehouses in the company’s network, which has more than 50 facilities in the US.

“Robots are essential for meeting that kind of demand,” said Ken Goldberg, a robotics professor at the University of California, Berkeley. Humans just can’t work as fast.

Check out this GIF of the robots in action: