I’m telling ya people, robots are taking over the world and SolidWorks is doing their part to aid in the onslaught of automated fulfillment like you wouldn’t believe. SHOES. The robots are in control of our footwear and it’s all starting at Zappos, perhaps the most brilliant shoe store you’ll ever find.
Kiva Systems has just done a full-up implementation of their ItemFetch robot army system, just four months after Zappos made the decision to have the tiny orange robots automate orders at their Kentucky plant.
Based on a helical ball bearing, the Kiva robot rises and falls as it spins, stopping itself at the right height for grabbing shelf units it will carry to a picking station, where workers collect and box goods for shipping. – SolidWorks
I first saw the Kiva Systems robots at SolidWorks World 08. They used it to bring refreshments out on the main stage to presenters. It was a eye-opening experience to see how they’re improving ways in which workers perform tasks. They’re not much to look at, but they are making warehouse management a breeze.
I’ve known about Zappos since my wife first bought a pair of shoes from them years ago. They have an amazing business culture, meaning, they know how to have fun, how to treat employees and how to treat customers. I’ve come to know even more about them through Twitter and seeing what their CEO, Tony(@zappos), is up too and how Zappos is evolving.
Check them both out. Here’s a must see video of the robots in action and some better shots of the tiny guys.