Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos revealed that he believes robotic hands, which should be able to grasp items as reliably as humans, will be ready for commercial use in the next 10 years.
“I think grasping is going to be a solved problem in the next 10 years,” said Bezos, according to Reuters. “It’s turned out to be an incredibly difficult problem, probably in part because we’re starting to solve it with machine vision — so [that means] machine vision did have to come first.”
While Bezos did not give details about Amazon's work with the technology, a source revealed that it has been tested by the Boston-area startup Soft Robotics.
The eCommerce giant's CEO also discussed Project Kuiper, which aims to provide broadband access to the world by relying on satellites. In filings, Amazon described a plan to send 3,236 satellites into low Earth orbit to provide broadband internet access. The company said the satellites would be able to provide coverage for close to 95 percent of the population. This would have a huge impact, as there are nearly 4 billion people around the world who don’t have reliable internet access.
Bezos called it “close to being a fundamental human need.” Though the project will reportedly cost billions of dollars, it will generate billions of dollars if the technology is deployed commercially.
“It’s also very good business for Amazon because it’s [a] very high capex undertaking; it’s multiple billions of dollars of capex,” explained Bezos. “Amazon is a large enough company now that we need to do things that, if they work, can actually move the needle.”
Bezos was asked if people ever say “no” to him, which he joked, “No! Certainly not twice. No, seriously, I do get told ‘no’ all the time. I seek it out. ... People who are right a lot, they listen a lot. They also change their mind a lot,” he said. “They wake up, and they re-analyze things all the time.”