Thursday, October 24, 2013

One Last Note on Amazon: How Many Companies Brag About the Number of Robots They've Added? (AMZN)

Following up on the amazing stat of the day, AMZN Tops MSFT's employee headcount, we have:

From the press release:
...“It’s been a busy few months—we launched a new Paperwhite and new Kindle Fires to positive reviews and surprised people with the revolutionary Mayday button—average Mayday response times are just 11 seconds!” said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of “And that’s not all. In the last 90 days, our AWS team got back to work on a big government contract, we brought 8 million square feet of fulfillment center capacity online, deployed 1,382 Kiva robots in three FCs, provided a new venue for artists to reach customers, signed up millions of new Prime members, announced Kindle MatchBook, Login & Pay, and nine new original TV pilots, joined the coalition, acquired TenMarks—a company that helps kids with math, scored a win for customers who want to use Kindles on airplanes even during takeoff and landing (also, a big hat tip to Nick Bilton on that one), began hiring and training 70,000 new U.S. FC employees to help serve customers this holiday season, and saw the Kindle Million Club grow to include 14 KDP authors.”... 
I've mentioned the acquisition of robot-maker Kiva Systems a couple times:
Jan 2013 
What's Amazon Up to? Buys Speech Recognition Co. (AMZN)
Combine last year's purchase of robotics leader Kiva Systems and a bit of Artificial Intelligence software: you've got HAL 9000....
...Lest we forget:

Amazon’s $775 Million Acquisition of Kiva Systems Could Shift How Businesses See Robots
[on Dave's return to the ship, after HAL has killed the rest of the crew]
 HAL: Just what do you think you're doing, Dave?

HAL: Look Dave, I can see you're really upset about this. I honestly think you ought to sit down calmly, take a stress pill, and think things over.
And in June:
Amazon Will Seize 3D Printing (AMZN)
...While Mr. Bezos is downplaying the immediacy of the 3D market (see Jeff Bezos on 3D Printing) it might pay to remember that while Bezos is personally invested in a small way in Rethink Robotics Inc. his company went out and did the largest robot co. acquisition that I know of, $775 million for Kiva Systems.
Here's the picture that greets you at Amazon Investor Relations:
The fellow driving that forklift may not be there next year if Kiva steps up from their material handling models:
The orange Kiva robots (or drive units) move shelves (or inventory pods)

to fully autonomous forklifts (right now only a MIT dream):

Relax human, I will move that myself!