Amazon is trialling humanoid robots in its US warehouses, in the latest sign of the tech giant automating more of its operations.
Amazon said the move was about “freeing employees up to better deliver for our customers”.
It said it was testing a new robot called Digit, which has arms and legs and can move, grasp and handle items in a similar fashion to a human.
A union said Amazon had “been treating their workers like robots for years”.
“Amazon’s automation is [a] head-first race to job losses. We’ve already seen hundreds of jobs disappear to it in fulfilment centres,” said Stuart Richards, an organiser at UK trade union GMB.
As the announcement was made, Amazon said its robotics systems had in fact helped create “hundred of thousands of new jobs” within its operations.
“This includes 700 categories of new job types, in skilled roles, which didn’t exist within the company beforehand,” the firm said.
According to the tech giant, it now has more than 750,000 robots working “collaboratively” with its human staff, often being used to take on “highly repetitive tasks”.