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Amazon buy robotics firm Kiva Systems to ‘improve productivity’

Amazon announced last night that they have bought Kiva Systems for $775 million. Kiva Systems produce robots that can move through large warehouse environments to deal with stock, so we can see why Amazon would invest in such a takeover.

Amazon have been dealing with staffing problems in their warehouses so the move would indicate that they intend on dealing with the problem by introducing robotic alternatives.

Amazon said: “Amazon has long used automation in its fulfillment centers, and Kiva’s technology is another way to improve productivity by bringing the products directly to employees to pick, pack and stow,” said Dave Clark, vice president, global customer fulfillment, Amazon.com. “Kiva shares our passion for invention, and we look forward to supporting their continued growth.”

“For the past ten years, the Kiva team has been focused on creating innovative material handling technologies,” said Mick Mountz, CEO and founder of Kiva Systems. “I’m delighted that Amazon is supporting our growth so that we can provide even more valuable solutions in the coming years.”

Following the acquisition, Kiva Systems’ headquarters will remain in North Reading, Massachusetts.

Under the terms of the agreement, which has been approved by Kiva’s stockholders, Amazon will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Kiva for approximately $775 million in cash, as adjusted for the assumption of options and other items. Subject to various closing conditions, the acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter of 2012.”

Kitguru says: Obviously with the introduction of robots, there may be job losses, however Amazon haven’t indicated any staffing changes yet, saying the robots will just improve productivity.

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