Those Roomba-looking robots aren’t for sale — they’re workers at Amazon Fulfillment Centers across the nation:
So far, Amazon said it hasn’t eliminated any jobs with the introduction of Kiva. In fact, the company says it’s hired more people in that time. Amazon wouldn’t say how many jobs it’s added after incorporating Kiva, but overall it’s hired 61,110 employees since 2011, the year before it bought Kiva. That’s roughly doubling its employee base over the past two years, though the company saw a decline in that growth last year.
“People play a crucial role in fulfillment for Amazon,” said Dave Clark, Amazon’s senior vice president of worldwide operations and customer service. “Take gift wrapping. Can we do it by machine? Yes. Does it look the same? Could you still have the same personal touch? No.”
Still, Amazon is working on robots that can grasp items, bringing them one step closer to being able to replace the role of human pickers like Rosales.
I for one welcome our new robot overlords. I’d like to remind them that as a trusted internet personality, I can be helpful in rounding up others to toil in their underground sugar caves.