Amazon is offering $250,000 to teams who invent robots that could potentially work in their massive fulfillment centers, and it has chosen 16 finalists for a tournament it is organizing later this year, the company said on Wednesday.
The e-commerce giant is running its third annual Robotics Challenge this year in July in Japan and has picked finalists from across the world. There are competitors from major U.S. institutions such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Princeton and Carnegie Mellon University.
Participants will need to show that their robot software and hardware can recognize objects, grab them, execute tasks, detect errors and recover as needed. The robots will be scored by how many items are successfully picked and stowed in a fixed amount of time, Amazon said.