Amazon has long been an industry leader in implementing robotics into its sortation centers, and recently, the e-tailer has added two new robot models, Xanthus and Pegasus, which it showed off at its re:MARS conference in Las Vegas earlier this month.
According to an Amazon blog post, the two-foot-tall, three-foot-wide Pegasus robots help in the sortation process by navigating packages along a “robot highway” within Amazon’s Denver, Colorado, sortation center. Each robot is topped by a conveyor belt and rolls up to Amazon warehouse employees, who scan packages and place them on the robots. Each Pegasus follows its programmed route and uses its conveyor to move the package down a chute, where it’s readied for delivery. The entire process takes about two minutes.
The second type, Xanthus, is the successor to Amazon’s current Hercules robot. Xanthus is a drive unit – a type of robot used for moving heavy inventory – and can be equipped with a variety of modules to perform different tasks.
Robots are becoming an increasingly common sight in e-commerce and express warehouses, as can be seen in Associate Editor Chelsea Toczauer’s reporting on YTO Cargo Airlines’ Hangzhou express hub. At Amazon’s Denver sortation center, its robots began operating in October 2018. According to Amazon’s recent post, they will soon be rolling out at other Amazon sortation centers in the United States during 2019. You can view video of the Denver facility below.