Amazon is buying a company that makes pallet-stacking robots

It's a step closer to Amazon's goal of having more automation in its warehouses.


Amazon has agreed to buy Cloostermans, a company that makes robots capable of stacking pallets in its warehouses. Amazon says it already uses Belgium-based Cloostermans' tech, which can also package products.

After the acquisition closes, Cloostermans' 200 or so employees will join the Amazon Global Robotics division in Europe and likely dedicate their time to solely building tech that suits Amazon's needs. "By focusing Cloostermans’s deep experience in engineering, machinery, and robotics, we will more rapidly deploy solutions in our workplace that support employees in their roles and improve safety at work, and also help reduce packaging waste," Amazon said in a press release. The company has previously spoken of its belief that having more robots will improve worker safety.

Amazon has been introducing more robots to its warehouses to increase automation. In June, it revealed Proteus, its first autonomous warehouse robot. The device is capable of moving carts filled with packages by itself.

While Amazon has been relying more on robots at its fulfillment centers for several years, the Cloostermans acquisition comes soon after employees at a Staten Island facility became the first Amazon warehouse workers to win a union election. The company said in 2019 that automation isn't expected to replace human workers at warehouses for at least a decade.