Packages received from a carrier at a distribution center or other shipment facility are unloaded manually. The process is complicated and requires an amount of dexterity that is considered beyond the ability of current automation. But Amazon sees a future where that is no longer the case. Automating the unloading process will make it faster, cheaper and reduce worker injury, Amazon said in its application.
The system envisioned in this application uses a large square face covered in vacuum suction cups (the document says these can also be electrostatic or adhesive components) that can attach to packages and pull them onto a conveyor belt that will take it to another location.