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Risca robotics manager stars in BBC TV show

A Risca native who works as a robotics product manager at Amazon will make a special appearance on national TV this week.

Phil Davies from Risca features on Dom Delivers, which airs on BBC One on 9th May at 10.45am. In the programme, Phil and his colleagues give presenter Dom Littlewood a behind the scenes tour at Amazon.

The programme shows the journey of a product from the factory floor of a third-party seller through Amazon’s fulfilment network, which includes the Amazon fulfilment centre and delivery station in Bristol.

In the programme, Dom pays a visit to one of the fulfilment centres that Phil helps manage, where he sees how packages are stowed, picked and packed before heading out for delivery to customers.

Phil’s career began with an electrical apprenticeship, working with a company who carried out maintenance on behalf of Her Majesty’s Prisons. His next role saw him working in an engineering role in logistics and conveyance before he joined Amazon almost four years ago to work in the Bristol fulfilment centre.

At Amazon, Phil began working with Amazon Robotics and his career with the company took off. Today, having been promoted twice, Phil is an Amazon Robotics product manager and is responsible for the smooth running of a large network of buildings. Phil, who works from home in Risca, manages teams in the UK, the EU, Japan, and Australia.

During filming, Phil gave Dom and his crew an introduction to the advanced Amazon Robotics technology used to help employees at the state-of-the-art fulfilment centre in Bristol. These robots, or robotic drive units, travel to various locations in the fulfilment centre to pick up shelves of product and deliver them to employees who either stow new items or pick customer orders from the shelves.

Phil showed Dom how Amazon engineers use a wide range of technology to help them work safely with Amazon Robotics. One of the safety innovations Dom observed during filming is how engineers use a robotic safety vest, which features advanced sciences like AI and sensors, to send signals to the robotic drive units on the floor where they work.

Once other robotic drive units are made aware of the robotic safety vest’s presence, they automatically slow down and update their route to avoid areas where the engineer is and will be working. This continuous stream of information helps to keep the floor moving in a safe and efficient manner.

Speaking on his appearance on national TV, Phil said:

“I enjoyed welcoming Dom to Amazon, and it was great to show him round our building. He was particularly interested in Amazon Robotics, so I showed him how our engineers use special safety vests to safely enter the robotics floor and Dom seemed to love that.

“During Dom’s visit, we also introduced him to some of the team working at Amazon in Bristol. Dom saw how we stow, pick and pack products for our customers before they head out for delivery. We all enjoyed the experience and found it really exciting.

“My friends and family are all buzzing about my TV appearance, but my little girl has been the most excited of all. She seems to love seeing her dad on a screen and I’m sure the demands to watch the show on catch up will grow as the next few weeks pass!”

Amazon Bristol Site Leader, Richard Griffiths, added: “We are all very proud that Dom chose to visit our fulfilment centre and I am delighted to have the great work of the team here recognised on national television. I hope our customers enjoy seeing behind the scenes at Amazon and finding out what happens when you click ‘buy’ on our website.”