Shopping on Amazon can feel like magic, with customers summoning mountains of toilet paper, hard-to-find books and the perfect flashlight to their doorsteps in just a few clicks.
But behind the screens, the purchase button triggers a noisy, fast-paced whir of activity.
At Baltimore's new Amazon warehouse, tens of millions of items — diapers, video games, salad spinners, shower curtains, history books — await orders. Roughly 16 miles of roaring conveyor belts carry the goods around the massive white building, from truck to shelf to packing and out again to customers.
On four floors, hundreds of squat orange robots glide forward and back, carrying neon yellow...