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Amazon.com has this huge challenge ahead of them. To ship orders expected to be more than the 36.8 million items shipped the same time last year for the Monday following Thanksgiving. Amazon ships from as many as 109 shipping centres around the globe.

To improve efficiency they are making increasing use of robots in the warehouses. 3000 robots are expected to swing into action to help the 1500 employees in their Tracy, California facility. Amazon will use over 15,000 such robots this year to pick up material at twice or thrice the earlier speeds.

The robots navigate by scanning coded stickers on the floor, following digital commands that are beamed wirelessly from a central computer. The system uses bar codes to track which items are on each shelf, so a robot can fetch the right shelves for each worker as orders come in.

In other news, a bus operated by gas generated from the treatment of sewerage and human waste is to be launched in the UK. The bio bus can run up to 300 kilometers on a full tank of gas and seat 40 people. The gas is stored in tanks on the roof of the bus. Imagine if we could use such technology in India profitably.