Meet Amazon’s Latest Robots: Proteus and Cardinal

Amazon reveals details of its first fully autonomous mobile warehouse robot.
Jamie Grill-Goodman
Editor in Chief
Jamie goodman

As Amazon’s robotics division celebrates a decade, the company revealed details on its latest robots and automated systems in a post.

Amazon said it has more than 520,000 robotic drive units currently, a feat made possible by its 2012 acquisition of robotics company Kiva. Now it’s revealing its first fully autonomous mobile robot, Proteus. Amazon said Proteus can operate safely alongside humans on the warehouse floor.

Historically, it’s been difficult to safely incorporate robotics in the same physical space as people,” the post reads. “We believe Proteus will change that while remaining smart, safe, and collaborative.

Seen below, the robot autonomously moves through a warehouse emitting a green beam of light which stops it in its tracks when a human appears in front of it. The robot was built to perform its work and move around employees so it has no need to be confined to restricted areas, according to Amazon. Possible uses to help employees include the lifting and movement of GoCarts, non-automated, wheeled transports used to move packages through Amazon’s facilities. Proteus will initially be deployed in the outbound GoCart handling areas in Amazon’s fulfillment centers and sort centers.


Amazon also shared details of Cardinal, seen below, which aims to reduce risk of injury to humans in the warehouse. The robotic workcell uses advanced artificial intelligence (AI) and computer vision to select one package out of a pile of packages, lift it, read the label, and place it in an Amazon GoCart. According to Amazon, Cardinal converts batch-based manual work into continuous, automated work and the company is currently testing a prototype of Cardinal for handling packages of up to 50 pounds. It aims to deploy the technology in fulfillment centers in 2024.

Additionally the company shared details on Amazon Robotics Identification (AR ID), an AI-powered scanning capability with computer vision and machine learning technology to enable easier scanning of packages, as well as new Containerized Storage System that puts employees in a safer and more ergonomic position. The system helps determine which pod has the container with the needed product, where that container is located in the pod, how to grab and pull the container to the employee, and how to pick it up once the employee has retrieved the product.

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