More robots working with humans

After its acquisition by Amazon in the spring of 2012, Kiva Systems' little orange robotic shelving movers seemed to disappear from the industrial marketplace. Kiva’s solution to the order-picking conundrum involves bringing shelving and goods to the order pickers, rather than the traditional approach, which requires order-picking from static shelves.

Since it was acquired, Kiva reportedly built more than 20,000 new robots for use at Amazon, but many of its competitors, which began using the Kiva Systems robots before the acquisition, have found themselves in a precarious relationship. They might not want to buy equipment from a competitor, and Amazon doesn’t appear to be in any hurry to make the technology available to its competitors either.

The good news is that Amazon was demonstrating the Kiva Systems robots at the Modex Show (www.modexshow.com) in Atlanta, and Amazon is apparently now willing to make the technology available to some new strategic partners. This would seem to mean an open door to organizations with industrial manufacturing and assembly applications.

Definitely worth a look.

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