Deep learning wins the day in Amazon's warehouse robot challenge

It's all about making fulfillment faster

Amazon is always on the lookout for new robotic technologies to improve efficiency in its warehouses, and this year deep learning appears to be leading the way.

That's according to the results of the second annual Amazon Picking Challenge, which has been won by a joint team from the TU Delft Robotics Institute of the Netherlands and the company Delft Robotics.

Amazon's 2016 event was held in conjunction with Robocup 2016 in Leipzig, Germany. Two parallel competitions took place: a Pick Task much like last year's, in which a mix of items has to be lifted from warehouse shelves and packed into a container; and a new "Stow Task," which involves taking items out of a tote and putting them onto the shelves.

The Pick Task asked contestants to pick up and safely deposit 12 items from a mixed shelf into a container in the shortest possible time. Sixteen teams from around the world took part as finalists, but the Delft team's entry won the day with its robot arm, 3D cameras, gripper and deep-learning artificial intelligence. The system's components were developed with the Robot Operating System for industry (ROS-Industrial), and will be released as open software.

The Stow Task called for competitors to move 12 mixed items from a container into bins on the shelves, and the Delft team won that one as well, for a combined prize reportedly amounting to US$50,000.

The robots will be demonstrated at TU Delft's Science Centre this Thursday.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags amazonrobots

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Katherine Noyes

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?