It wasn’t long ago that using robots in warehouse distribution and fulfillment centers seemed fanciful. Then Amazon came along and bought Kiva, the robotics pioneer that went on to give Bezos an edge in fast delivery, and now robots are ubiquitous in fulfillment warehouses. Which is to say, be cautious when being dismissive of out-there ideas. Read this Where the streets have no name: The Dubai startup shaking up shipping and ecommerce in the Middle East In a region where there’s no mailman, one startup thinks it’s cracked the business of parcel delivery – thanks to some smart tech. Read More To wit, Tel Aviv’s newest micro-fulfillment center for grocery deliveries was built underground. CommonSense Robotics, an Israeli robotics company focusing on autonomous solutions for fast delivery, is betting that overlooked urban space can be repurposed into robotic distribution centers to deliver groceries to ground dwellers faster than previously possible. So when the company came across an underutilized subterranean parking garage beneath Tel Aviv’s oldest skyscraper, it seemed like an opportunity to convert the space into a robotic fuilfilment center. The problem CommonSense is trying to tackle is that growing consumer demand for same-day and one-hour deliveries isn’t possible at scale if warehouses are located in rural areas, as they are now. CommonSense believes the answer is to deploy robots in smaller sites inside cities. For some context on why this is such a departure, consider that most robotic logistics facilities are enormous, requiring massive hangar-like buildings of 120,000 square… [Read full story]
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