Amazon is yet to create an Echo smart speaker on wheels that can follow you around the house and help with various tasks, but the company certainly has industrial robots at work elsewhere in the world.
The company is bringing them to Australia to work in the first Amazon Robotics fulfilment centre (FC) in the Southern Hemisphere, which will be in Western Sydney, and as you can see in the videos embedded below, supplied by Amazon, the building's shell is nearly complete, with the internals next to be worked on as described below.
Due for completion by the end of the year, the massive fulfilment centre is located at the "Goodman/Brickworks’ Oakdale West Industrial Estate", spanning 200,000 square metres across four levels.
To give you an additional idea of how big this is, we're told it's "around the land size of Taronga Zoo, Chadstone shopping centre or 24 rugby league fields."
Over 1,400 people have worked on the construction of the site. which included the erection of the 13,500 tonne Australian steel frame (more than the steel used for Sydney Olympic Stadium) erected using 200,000 nuts and bolts.
From Wednesday March 17, around 300 additional contractors will begin the complex fit out of the giant warehouse, including the installation the conveyer belt and robotics equipment.
Here's an incredible timelapse video showing the centre being built and just how big it is - the article continues thereafter:
We're told that, once operational, "the fulfilment centre will house up to 11 million items and will be equipped with the most advanced Amazon Robotics technology to better assist employees and serve customers, as well as contributing to the company’s efforts to continue improving selection and delivery experience for its customers around Australia.
"The FC will create more than 1,500 jobs with competitive pay and the opportunity to work alongside advance robotics. The construction and fit out of the state-of-the-art facility have also created an additional 1,700 jobs."
Here's what the robotics looks like at Amazon's Fulfilment Centre in Barcelona - the article continues thereafter:
Craig Fuller, Director of Operations at Amazon Australia said: "We’re are pleased to confirm we are on track to open our first Amazon Robotics site for Australia in Western Sydney this year delivering more than 1,500 local jobs with the opportunity to work alongside advanced robotics.
"This will be our fifth FC and will effectively double our operational footprint in Australia, providing our customers with wider selection and faster delivery when ordering via Amazon.com.au.
"Utilising advanced technology, the robotics will enhance the efficiency of our operations as well as the safety of our associates, helping to support our Amazonians as they pick, pack and ship the millions of items housed within the FC to customers around the country.
“As we expand our roots here in Western Sydney, we remain committed to enriching and giving back to the local communities and look forward to working with Penrith Council and local schools and groups to contribute and support the community around our new facility in a meaningful way,” he said.
Jason Little, General Manager Australia at Goodman, said, “Development of this fulfilment centre sees Goodman continue to deliver our global strategy of providing essential infrastructure to support the digital economy, and to meet the increasing demand for strategically located logistics space with easy access to large consumer markets.
“Our $150 million investment in roads and infrastructure will create road capacity and better access to services, building on Outer-Western Sydney as a key area for logistics and transportation.”
When it opens the Amazon Robotics FC will "offer a diverse range of job opportunities in a high-tech, industry-leading workplace ranging from IT, HR and robotics professionals, to associates who will work collaboratively with robots, to pick, pack and ship smaller items such as books, beauty products, electronics and toys to customers."
We're also told that "robots work collaboratively with employees by moving the pods of inventory to them, reducing the time and effort that would otherwise be required for the employee to stow items for sale or pick them for new customer orders.
"They also save space, allowing for 50 per cent more items to be stowed per square metre which in turn allows for increased product selection.
"The robotics facility will be Amazon’s second FC in Western Sydney, and fifth in Australia, increasing the company’s capacity to fulfil customer orders around the country.
"Amazon worked with Goodman Group and its JV partner Brickworks to secure the site and Goodman is managing development of the facility."
Since Amazon.com.au launched in Australia in December 2017, the company "now offers customers 125 million products across 31 different categories including Amazon devices.
"Amazon Robotics will complement Amazon’s existing network of four Australian fulfilment centres launched in Dandenong South, Melbourne in December 2017, followed by Moorebank, Sydney in August 2018, Perth’s Airport Precinct in November 2019 and most recently Lytton, Brisbane in late 2020."
Fast facts about the Amazon Robotics fulfilment centre:
- This is the largest warehouse ever built in Australia
- This will be the first Amazon Robotics site in the Southern Hemisphere
- Total floor area of the building is around 200,000 square metres – double the land size of Bondi Beach, the size of 24 rugby league fields
- Due to open before the end of 2021, the site will create more than 1,500 jobs
- Upon completion approximately 1,700 workers will have been involved in the construction and fit out of the building
- The building comprises 13,500 tonnes of Australian steel, 3,000 tonnes more steel than was used for Sydney Olympic Park Stadium
- More than 200,000 nuts and bolts were used for installation of the structural steel frame.
- It will have capacity to house up to 11 million items
Here's the final video from Amazon showing renders of what the final building is expected to look like: