Amazon has confirmed that it will not be hosting its re:MARS conference on robotics and space this year. The company decided to incorporate the subjects into its existing lineup of Amazon Web Services events instead. The tech giant launched re:MARS in 2019, which stands for “Machine learning, Automation, Robotics, and Space,” as a way for startups, researchers, academics, and executives to discuss the latest innovations in these technologies.
Reason for Cancellation
Amazon has denied that the decision to cancel re:MARS was made for budgetary reasons. However, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy has been scrutinizing costs across the company, given the gloomy economic outlook and slowing sales growth. Amazon has undergone the largest layoffs in its history, and Jassy has axed several initiatives, including the Amazon Care telehealth program, Glow children’s videoconferencing device, Explore virtual tours service, and touring “treasure truck.”
The Purpose of re:MARS
Amazon used re:MARS to showcase its futuristic innovations, such as warehouse robots, delivery drones, and its first home robot. Bezos, Amazon’s founder and executive chairman, also held talks on space colonization and tested out a pair of giant remote-controlled robotic hands. At last year’s conference, Amazon demonstrated a feature where its Alexa digital assistant impersonated a deceased relative.
Amazon’s decision to cancel re:MARS does not come as a surprise. Given the current economic climate and the need to cut costs, it is understandable that Amazon would want to incorporate the subjects of robotics and space into its existing events instead of hosting a separate conference. It remains to be seen how this decision will affect Amazon’s ability to showcase its innovations in these fields, but it is clear that the company will continue to invest in cutting-edge technologies.