Robotics remains a confirmed branch of artificial intelligence, and its added value is proving itself in all areas. More particularly, in the commercial field. In fact, the stakes of the new technological era shows promise in the satisfaction of the user and getting closer to his taste and his expectations. This momentum is easily seen in the online sales giant Amazon. In fact, when it comes to planning, acceptance, control, return and physical storage, artificial intelligence is an unbeatable ally for success and good management.

AI for Warehouse Management

This revolution is observable on one of the warehouses of Amazon, it is enough to follow the course of the objects conveyed by the suppliers. In fact, the items are initially sorted by employees according to their size, they are transported on interminable conveyors. Each object is flashed thanks to a scanner, to be available for sale on Amazon sites. A screen tells them where to place each of them in the shelf facing them. A computer calculates how to optimize the occupation of space by taking into account the weight and dimensions of books, clothing and other consumer goods. When the shelf is full, the fascination of artificial intelligence takes place: it starts to move alone, leaving room for another, less filled. Almost motionless, the employee can continue shaking his scanner without pausing. This feat is possible thanks to an army of robots, flat and rectangular shape, equipped with two wheels, which are screwed under the shelves to make them mobile. Connected to a computer system, they detect obstacles with infrared sensors, and locate themselves in the space with cameras that can read QR codes on the ground. The ballet of robots, beautifully orchestrated performs perfectly the painful and tedious tasks of acceptance, control or even return. Automation is also a factor of productivity. Humans process 300 products per hour, compared to 110 before robots arrive. Delivery times of acceptance, storage, control and planning have been considerably shortened.

On the same pace, another world-renowned firm joins this race: Alibaba. The company is about to complete an innovative and groundbreaking study for the development of an intelligent supply chain in China through its Ali Smart Supply Chain (ASSC) platform. This chain is able to predict fluctuating trends of potential buyers so that sellers can focus on improving their products, stocks and delivery operations. Supply chain design can propel innovation and improve production. The improvement of the infrastructure will be evident thanks to smart cities. After developing a smart transportation system for Hangzhou in eastern China, Alibaba has now moved to build an AI hub in Macau for four years. The result of this project will bring new advanced technology to transportation, health care and governance.

Sources :

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[4] Korolov, M. (2018). AI in the supply chain: Logistics gets smart. [online] CIO. Available at: [Accessed 30 Aug. 2018].

[5] Faggella, D. and Faggella, D. (2018). How e-commerce giants are using AI and marketing (Part 1) – MarTech Today. [online] MarTech Today. Available at: [Accessed 30 Aug. 2018].