Friday, July 04, 2008

The Future of Warehousing?

When I was in highschool (now a fairly long time ago), one of the many geeky clubs I joined was Canada FIRST - a robotics competition where high school teams competed against each other to accomplish some sort of goal and making a robot from scratch. I wasn't even remotely technically inclined so I got stuffed with someone else doing something charitably called "PR" for the club.

So when I stumbled onto Kiva Systems, if I were at all technically inclined I think it'd be like a dream job. Kiva Systems may end up being the future of warehousing (IEEE Spectrum). Instead of having a large conveyor belt operation where people move to grab items off a shelf, the shelves come to the people courtesy of these orange robots. Apparently it's already also cost effective.

A few of the cool factoids about Kiva is that the idea was borne out of Mick Mountz trying to figure out how to make fulfillment more cost effective after the demise of Webvan. Further, another one of the key members of the management group is Raffaello D'Andrea, a professor who had led the Cornell team to 4 Robocup world championships.

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