In this brilliant TED talk, Kiva‘s CEO, Mick Mountz, explains how they revolutionized the way warehouses pack and ship their inventory by using robots, mobile shelving, and algorithms based on complexity theory. What used to take hours of tedious tasks is transformed into fun, 15-minute, click-to-ship order processing.
Kiva’s CEO, Mick Mountz, had a front row seat when internet pioneer Weban failed to deliver online fulfillment services in a cost effective manner.
The system is absolutely brilliant and effective. That is a very good reason for Kiva System being acquired by Amazon for $775 M.
Can you imagine how it could be if the robots would not need to have wires to direct their trajectory under the floor? That is the next step for automation which will require intelligence.
by Dan Kara (LinkedIn): Robotics Trends International Network
Kiva Acquisition Has Huge Implications for Businesses and Society
Teresa, I analyzed the Kiva purchase for Robotics Business Review (www.roboticsbusinessreview.
For all of the billions that Amazon has invested in automating its fulfillment processes, it is still dependent on large numbers of people to get the job done. The Kiva system succeeds largely because it reduces the number of humans that must traverse the distribution center collecting products to ship. But what if the model was extended even further, to include the humans who actually “pick” individual items out of the robotically delivered storage containers? In theory, a dexterous robotic system capable of fine manipulation and using vision in combination with touch sensors (much like its human “picker” counterpart) could perform the last, unautomated leg of the Kiva fulfillment process.
Kiva MPS represents a paradigm shift in the way in which ecommerce companies go about fulfilling orders. The long term ramifications of the purchase are not clear, but in the end Amazon could become an architecture provider for ebusiness order fulfillment (own the architecture, win the war). It could also develop fulfillment and distribution centers that for all purposes contain no people. Furthermore, it would make the holy grail of “same day shipping” possible. That’s more than a paradigm shift, it is a seismic change and one with profound implications for businesses and society.
by Thomas Ciesielka (LinkedIn): Robotics Trends International Network
Dan, You are spot on. Robotics, in this configuration, will lead the way for economic revitalization and evolution. Combining it with a “cognitive brain” that Teresa has championed, is the future.