Amazon's "smart" computer vision camera system will recognize products without scanning a barcode. In the future, robots will be equipped with it.
Our future is hardly possible without robots, however, as it turned out, they are not capable of performing such a routine procedure as scanning a barcode with high quality. Robotic arms can have difficulty finding the ID on a product, especially if it is located in a hard to reach place or attached to an irregularly shaped product.
In early December, Amazon announced that it plans to get rid of barcodes altogether. Its specialists have developed a whole system of cameras that monitors objects moving along the conveyor, checking them to see if they match their images. To do this, they trained a computer model by showing it photos of goods in warehouses. The company's artificial intelligence and robotics specialists are going to equip robotic arms with this technology that perform the procedure of identifying objects and moving them from one place to another.
Nontas Antonakos, Applied Science Manager in the Computer Vision Group at Amazon Germany (Berlin), stressed that solving the problem of robots picking up items and processing them without having to search and scan a barcode is fundamental. The introduction of this technology will help speed up and improve the accuracy of delivering parcels to customers.
A complete replacement of barcodes with multimodal identification is currently not planned. Today, the new system is used only in the Spanish (Barcelona) and German (Hamburg) branches. Representatives of the company say that with its help they have already managed to reduce the processing time of parcels, and suggest that it will soon be scaled to all Amazon divisions.