Amazon’s massive million-square-foot fulfillment center outside of Seattle had its grand opening today despite having been in operation for a few months now. What’s special about this facility is the symbiotic relationship that humans and robots have in the facility which creates a perfect ecosystem for efficient order fulfillment.
It has actually been in operation since last summer, but Amazon marked the grand opening of its 1 million-square-foot fulfillment center here this morning, an 8th generation facility defined by advanced robotics. It was a chance to see the company’s latest robotics up close — everything from orange Kiva platforms zipping shelving systems across the floor, to a massive robotic arm that can lift 3,000-pound pallets 24 feet in the air. Amazon’s operations have become so specialized that this center, about an hour south of its Seattle headquarters, only deals in bigger packages, items “larger than a bread box,” as one executive explained. It’s a giant place, two stories high and the equivalent of more than 17 football fields.