Thursday, July 12, 2012

Kiva Systems

Some time ago Scott Hanselman blogged about  ordering a lawn mower from Home Depot. In that blog post, he talked about how fast Amazon ships things. Here is the snippet from that post,

Seems like Amazon has your package being prepared while it's still in the shopping cart. Click Checkout and walk to the mailbox, bam! With other retailers, not so much.,

Speed and accuracy comes to my mind when I think about Amazon. But I never thought about how retailing system works. Today I came across an article about how Amazon plans to deliver thing on same day across united states. Interesting article talks about Amazon’s strategy shift from few big distribution centers to many distribution centers. This same article mentions about one of the Amazon’s recent acquisitions. Kiva Systems.

Kiva systems has very interesting product not only for the retailer, but for any one with admiration for technology and innovative problem solving. If you ever shopped in any big stores like Sams Club, Costco or Wal-Mart, you would know the pain of finding the things you want. You pick a cart and walk around different aisle and pick items you want and bill it, you would easily pass an aisle that has the stuff in your list. If you want to do this efficiently, you need to know lot about their product catalog, aisle arrangements and lot of mindfulness.

Imagine this situation for bigger retails stores that may have more than 10,000 items and 100s of aisles and many miles of navigation. Kiva solves this problem by placing 100s of robots that carry items to the worker. Aisles come to workers auto magically and disappear later. Its very fascinating to watch and think about the software and hardware solutions they invented.

Here are some videos of how it works and a TED talk from the founder of Kiva System Mike Mountz.

Kiva Order Fetch Solution http://youtu.be/1FKMniE_q1Q
Kiva Warehouse Robotics (History Channel) http://youtu.be/gvQKGev56qU
Kiva Warehouse Robotics (Discovery Channel) http://youtu.be/g-JJPbwXbog
A Day in the Life of a Kiva Robot http://youtu.be/6KRjuuEVEZs
TEDxBoston - Mick Mountz - Let The Inventory Walk and Talk http://youtu.be/szU2-1infqc

2 Comments :

Dinesh said...

I see this as an effective solution to warehousing and distribution needs, pretty much on the lines of the famous automated library (London library, I think).

With retails like amazon / costco, I think people consider alternatives before they buy.

Dinesh said...

I see this as an effective solution to warehousing and distribution needs, pretty much on the lines of the famous automated library (London library, I think).

With retails like amazon / costco, I think people consider alternatives before they buy.