Kiva Systems Robotics Are the Future of eCommerce Fulfillment
Manual labor kept on pushing Amazon’s buttons? So, they bought Kiva Systems. And Kiva Systems is bringing eCommerce business into the future.
Owned by Amazon, Kiva Systems utilizes automation technology in storage warehouses. Yes, you read that right. Kiva Systems uses mobile robotics to reduce the manual labor requirements of Amazon’s merely human workers. With 1,000 robots in operation, Kiva Systems is revolutionizing order fulfillment solutions. The robotics help operations run more smoothly because they reduce costs for Amazon. Amazon does not have to hire more staff to receive, pack and ship the products which the robotics can do. The result is a system which is easy to operate, inexpensive and universal.
How do Kiva Systems Robotics Work?
It is cool to envision a warehouse of a sci-fi themed future, in which a robotic workforce will take over from human work. But unfortunately for sci-fi fans, 2015 is not witnessing a robopocalypse just yet. Despite the increased robotic workforce, human workers still have purpose in Amazon’s warehouses.
All products are stored on “pods”. Pods are basically cabinets which the robot can connect to. The robot is set to recognize the products it needs to carry. When the robot finds the pod that is storing the product which has to be shipped, the robot swivels underneath it, lifts the pod off the ground and carries it through the warehouse, to the human workers. Once they have received the product pods from the robots, the human workers pull the individual items from the pods and pack them. Once the products have been packed, they can be shipped from the warehouse to their final destination. Most likely, the final destination is the residence of the customer who has bought the product.
Here is a link to a video showing a day in the life of a Kiva robot: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KRjuuEVEZs
The Kiva Philosophy
Kiva Systems believes that their robotics should be smart enough to organize themselves. Their robotics are free of any physical location restraints. This means that any pod can be delivered to any human operator at any time. Kiva believes that the robotics remove the inconvenience of workers having to move, sort and pack all the items in the warehouse. They remove any health and safety concerns in which workers can lift a heavy product and potentially hurt themselves. It allows the workers to focus on customer satisfaction with packaging, so they do not have to worry about doing everything.
To achieve maximum efficiency, Kiva installs enough robots to cope with the maximum amount of orders throughout peak seasons, such as Christmas. This flexibility will assure that products are shipped-out in reasonable time and discourages delays. Therefore, the customer will always receive their items in sufficient time and won’t have to wait a long amount of time.
What’s Next for Kiva System Robotics?
Since Amazon bought Kiva Systems for the small price of $775 million, it now desires to have 10,000 robots in operation by the end of this year. Imagine 10,000 robots helping Amazon’s human workers. Amazon is certainly taking a futuristic approach to its modern day operations. More robots in operation will mean orders being processed and shipped-out quicker. Therefore, it will guarantee a higher rate of customer satisfaction.
People may argue that Kiva Systems will reduce jobs and is not reliable since machines can breakdown. But when you consider the efficiency and quick pace of Kiva’s robotics, it is hard to deny that robotics guarantee full eCommerce satisfaction. Kiva Systems Robotics are the future. All you have to do is look at the efficient processing and quick delivery times to be sure of it.