Machines carrying shelves with hundreds of products on them dance around the nearly 900,000 square foot floor of Amazon’s Fulfillment Center.
The machines, known as “Drivers,” are the most critical piece of the infrastructure when it comes to distributing products for the now ubiquitous, Amazon Prime service.
The company opened its doors on Thursday to show off the new technology, and to tout the new jobs created at the 1,500 employee facility a few miles from I-91 in Windsor.
For the roll-out of the new Drivers, Amazon invited robotics students from Windsor High School. The group of about 30 students walked all across the warehouse floor, learning how the robots work and contribute to Amazon’s work flow.
Om Ghetia, a Windsor High School Freshman, observed how the robots are programmed and controlled through an Amazon Kindle tablet, and even helped to guide the Drivers around.
“I could move it to the position that I wanted it in and it came exactly where I wanted it to. It was very precise,” he said.
Ghetia said in his classes and on his robotics team they develop every step of the way, a far less advanced system than the one at the fulfillment center.
“This is like, very large and I’m surprised how they managed to come up with all of this and the supplies and the manpower to do this,” he said.
Governor Dannel Malloy arrived for the ceremonial reopening of the fulfillment center and touted how Amazon has only grown in Connecticut over the past decade.
“It wasn’t that long ago that Amazon did not have any presence in Connecticut,” Malloy said. Amazon, he stressed, “is a very important part of our economy.”
Amazon will open its third facility in Connecticut next year in North Haven and will employ another 1,500 people. The company’s other facility is in Wallingford where 500 people work.