TEDxBoston 2011

Mick Mountz

Let the Inventory Walk and Talk

A Day in the Life of a Retail Robot

Mick Mountz revolutionized the way warehouses pack and ship their inventory by using robots, mobile shelving, and algorithms based on complexity theory.  What used to take hours of tedious tasks is transformed into fun, 15-minute, click-to-ship order processing.

In traditional eCommerce pick-pack-and-ship, a worker must walk through miles of inventory shelving to fill Mrs. Smith’s order for a red T-shirt, a tube of lipstick and a pair of shoes, limiting the speed at which her order can be filled and shipped. But what if that same worker could stand still and in a matter of seconds, the right products just magically appear? This was the vision that inspired a mobile-robotic solution using hundreds of robots that zip around the fulfillment centers of companies like Staples, Gap and Drugstore.com to fill orders and offer mind-bending 15 minute click-to-ship order processing. You have to see it to believe it.

Curator’s Pick: “These things can scale to gianormous!”

About Kiva Systems: kivasystems.com

Video

Biography

Kiva Systems’ integrated order-fulfillment solution deploys thousands of mobile robots into ecommerce pick-pack-and-ship fulfillment centers, tripling productivity, while simultaneously increasing the speed, accuracy and flexibility of the operation. Mick founded Kiva in January 2003 after spending time in high-tech product development, manufacturing and marketing at Webvan, Apple and Motorola. In 2008 Mick was a winner of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® Award in the New England region, and in 2009 under Mick’s leadership Kiva was ranked #6 on the Inc. 500 list of the fastest growing private companies in America. Mick holds twelve US technology patents. He earned a BS in mechanical engineering from MIT and an MBA from Harvard.

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