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The Fashion Industry Is Controlled by Mindless Robots, Gilt Groupe Proves It

Watch this video of Kiva's amazing warehouse robots in action.

The Fashion Industry Is Controlled by Mindless Robots, Gilt Groupe Proves It


In just a couple years Gilt Groupe has grown into a company with $200 million in annual revenues. Which is an interesting story in itself, but watch what happens when stock-fraudster turned journalist Henry Blodget interviews Gilt's CEO Susan Lyne. In short order, he gets totally derailed by their AWESOME WAREHOUSE ROBOTS:

Allow us to answer some of the questions that Lyne can't, in the interview. As we reported in 2007, the Kiva system relies on a combo of high-powered servers, and autonomous robots which browse the aisles and fetch merchandise. A central server processes orders; it also tracks the individual robots. When an order comes it, it finds the relevant item, and assigns a robot to fetch the shelf it's on. And off the robot goes, finding its way by scanning barcodes spaced throughout the warehouse. It then delivers the shelf to a human picker, who packs the order. The system basically cuts out all the inefficiency involved in having human fork-lift operators spending all day driving up and down the aisles of a warehouse. Companies ranging from Staples to Zappos now rely on the system, which apparently costs upwards of $5 million for a large installation.

What's uncanny is that the robots take care of them selves. When low on power, they head to a docking station—which warehouse works liken to "getting a drink." They also have proximity sensors, so that they don't bump into each other. Meaning that accidents like this one are a distant memory: