Warehouse Robots for Amazon

Amazon purchased a company called Kiva (not the microloans place) yesterday that makes warehouse robotics systems that look something like a southeast asian intersection on a good day.

It's pretty impressive to watch them do their thing without knocking their large stacks of goods over or bumping into eachother, but what is really interesting for me is how precise they are as noted by their tracks on the floor. They all keep to a very precise section of floor which I expect they figure out based on rotary encoding. I'm not sure though, it doesn't look like a smaller warehouse positioning system since they're individually fitted with what looks like distance sensors. I'd be interested to know more details about how they work!


Tue, Mar 20, 2012