STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. - Ever hear of a palletizer? It's a fancy, made up word for the huge piece of equipment that can stack bins of Amazon goods onto pallets.
It's a job that would take humans hours to complete, stacking the heavy boxes by hand and one of many that the hundreds of robots at Staten Island's fulfillment center do on a daily basis.
"Picking things up and putting them down … Putting them down in the exact orientation; making sure that these totes nest into each other so that they're safe going over the road on trucks,” said Ryan Clarke, one of the workers at the facility. “A very, very precise movement that a person does just naturally."
On a tour inside Staten Island's fulfillment center Wednesday, there were robots everywhere.
Computers tell the so-called pickers exactly where to find the products they're looking for.
Powered by artificial intelligence, the robots also tote shelves of goods around a robot-only area, far away from humans.
Zane Devoll is charged with keeping the floor where the Amazon robots, or AR, work clean.
His vest sends signals to the AR when he's heading into their space.
"The vest is like a navigation system on the floor,” said Devoll. “It tells the robots where we are at any given time. And when we're out there if they come within a certain distance of the vest they will slow down and eventually they will actually come to a complete stop."
About 2,000 employees work 10 hour shifts, four days a week, stowing, sorting, picking and packing some of the more than 1 million products available for sale and delivery on Amazon.
It's physical work: a sign reminding workers to stretch before their shifts is positioned amid the workstations.
But its work that Amazon says is guided by one question: how their human workers interact with artificial intelligence.
They say it begins with safety.
"All of our robotics are equipped with different types of safety sensors, hand motion detectors," said Amazon general manager Chris Colvin.
The Staten Island fulfillment center is also a pilot location for Amazon's robotics teams, who are constantly testing out new technologies to make shipping even more efficient.
And those teams are working overtime these days as the company gears up for its busy season.
The company just announced two Amazon Prime Days planned for next month.