Robotic drones being utilised in Amazon’s warehouses could save the company more than £550 million a year.

The e-commerce giant has revealed it is utilising 1,400 drones in three of its warehouses in an effort to improve efficiency.

The one-foot high, battery powered orange boxes navigate the warehouse on wheels, using scan coded directions to locate, collect and drop off items ready to be packaged.

It is estimated that they reduce the cost of fulfilling orders by up to 40 per cent.

Shawn Milne, an analyst at Janney Capital Markets, estimated that Amazon could save between £225 million and £559 million a year through the use of these robots.

“We believe this could be a significant opportunity to drive higher operating efficiency across Amazon’s massive fulfillment-center network,” he told

The robots were created by Kiva Systems, a company bought by Amazon for just over £473 million in March 2013. Before its takeover, the company charged over £1.2 million for a kit of robots. However, it’s only recently that the company announced it was using these robots in its warehouses.

“Amazon is very secretive, when they start talking about something, you better pay attention,” Milne commented.

Zappos, Walgreens and Staples are amongst the other retailers to have utilised robotic drones in warehouses.


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