For $775 million Amazon has acquired robot company Kiva Solutions, looking to "improve productivity" in those fulfillment centers we've heard such un-fun things about. Specifically, the little orange bots will bring products to workers, who as of now can walk up to 13 to 15 miles a day hand-picking and delivering items, according to a report from last September. Amazon bought the organization hoping to improve its margins -- a packer working with Kiva bots can fulfill three to four times as many orders per hour, according to Kiva via The Wall Street Journal. But it looks like the tech will also reduce the exhausting walking that Amazon warehouse work now requires.
Kiva Systems "uses game-changing automation technology for distribution centers," as the company site explains. That "game changing" tech refers to what Kiva calls its "magic shelf," or the Kiva Mobile-robotic Warehouse Automation System. Instead of having human workers walk through aisles of items across huge warehouse floors, robots do the moving, as we learned from an instructional video over at the Kiva site.