Amazon has folded warehouse robotics startup Canvas Technology under its wing, TechCrunch reported April 10. The report did not specify the cost of the purchase.
Canvas makes a fully autonomous cart system, and raised $15 million in Series A funding. It’s a major competitor with companies like Fetch Robotics in the area of autonomous mobile robots. The carts use 3D imaging and a proprietary software platform to navigate, and are designed specifically to be able to work in the same space as and interact with human workers on the warehouse floor.
Bringing Canvas in-house fills out Amazon Robots, a division create in 2012 to house Kiva Systems, a maker of shelving robots. Kiva Systems robots are now at work in Amazon warehouses, and the retailer might be able to link them with Canvas Technology’s carts to solidify their in-house automation stack. The e-retail giant has been moving more and more of its deliveries in-house, while also offering its shipping network to third parties via Amazon Shipping.
According to Business Insider, Amazon has seen a 50 percent gain in warehouse space and 20 percent lower operating costs due to robotics.
“We are inspired by Canvas Technology’s innovations, and share a common vision for a future where people work alongside robotics to further improve safety and the workplace experience,” an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement to TechCrunch. “We look forward to working with Canvas Technology’s fantastic team to keep inventing for customers.”