[Dprglist] Santazon -> Amazon Warehouse In Action

Karim Virani pondersome64 at gmail.com
Wed Dec 21 12:08:28 PST 2022

Yep, we were looking at Amazon Kiva warehouse robots 3 years ago when we
decided to return to differential drive. It's hard to find implementation
details, but I suspect the Amazon alignment strategy is very simple. Those
robots have an integrated turntable. I wouldn't be surprised if the
motion of that turntable is normally mechanically linked to oppose the net
rotational motion from the wheels. You'll notice that the inventory pod
robots always come to a full stop before performing an in-place turn. The
rotational inertia of the inventory pod can only help damp inaccuracies.
Everything starts, continues and ends with grid alignment as a design

I would suspect they also have a way to occasionally lock the turntable to
the chassis so they can rotate a different face of the inventory pod to a

I was hoping to make it to rbnv but my team needed my attention last night.
I'm now advising my team to not worry about presenting the choice to go
with differential drive. It takes too much conversation to convince judges
(against the bling of mecanums) that they're making a practical real world
choice. The duty cycles on those warehouse robots have to be enormous.
The team still needs to be prepared to answer the why-no-mecanum question
should it come up.

On Wed, Dec 21, 2022 at 1:05 PM Carl W Ott Jr via DPRGlist <
dprglist at lists.dprg.org> wrote:

> Are those differential drive platforms moving the racks?  Not a Mecanum
> wheel in sight.
> And how do they keep the rack orientation so well aligned with right
> angles - must have some kind of compensation else I’d expect all that
> lifting and setting down to gradually turn them over time…
> [image: _medium.jpeg]
> Incredible footage shows a huge Amazon depot preparing for Christmas with
> the help of robots <https://flipboard.com/video/swns/498c33eb35>
> flipboard.com <https://flipboard.com/video/swns/498c33eb35>
> <https://flipboard.com/video/swns/498c33eb35>
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