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Amazon challenge tests robots' stow and pick skills

Online retail giant hunting for ways to further automate logistics operations

A robot developed by Panasonic and the Nara Institute of Science and Technology picks up a spool of adhesive tape.

TOKYO Picking stuff up and putting it away sounds like child's play, but to online retailer, it is a high-tech, high-stakes game.

Always keen on leveraging new technologies, the e-commerce giant hosted its Amazon Robotics Challenge last month, a tournament for warehouse robots. Leading corporations and research institutions brought their next-generation robots to the contest, showing off some surprising advances in artificial intelligence and other technologies, both to other competitors and to Amazon, which hopes to continue automating its logistics operations with more robots.

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