After Losing $1 Trillion in Market Value, Amazon Unveils Robot for Packaging Tasks

The e-commerce giant says it won’t disclose investments in its robotics division; Amazon Brazil said it has no intention to layoff executives and reduce its activities in the country

Courtesy: Amazon
November 10, 2022 | 01:40 PM

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Boston — A day after Amazon Inc. (AMZN) lost $1 trillion in market value, the company opened up its robotics space in Boston to announce to the media that it will begin manufacturing a new robot that manipulates packages, with the ability to identify defects such as damaged parcels, for example.

Called Sparrow, Amazon did not provide information on how many of the robots are already available on Thursday nor when the technology will be expanded to other countries in which the company operates.

Currently, Amazon has two robot manufacturing spaces in the Boston area. Earlier in the day, the Wall Street Journal revealed documents showing that Amazon has launched a cost-cutting program for areas that are not profitable.

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According to the documents obtained by the newspaper, the overhaul includes Alexa, a division with a potential annual loss of $5 billion.

As part of the cost-cutting strategy, Amazon reportedly told employees working in areas that are not profitable to look for other jobs, people familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal.

In a statement, Amazon Brazil said it has no intention to layoff executives and reduce its activities in the country.

Asked by Bloomberg Línea whether robots are a profitable business unit, Amazon said during the presentation that “the company only produces robots for itself”, and did not disclose the amount invested in Sparrow.

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Tye Brady, chief technologist officer at Amazon Robotics said Sparrow is “truly remarkable when you think about the amount of packages to identify, handle and move”.

In turn, Joe Quinlivan, VP of Amazon’s Global Robotics and Technology, said “there’s no better place with the global scale to do what we do with robotics”.

Amazon already produces robots for handling and moving packages such as Proteus, the company’s first autonomous mobile robot, and Robin, for handling packages.