Amazon.com’s purchase of robot maker Kiva for $775 million appears to be close to paying for itself, according to a new analysis.
Business Insider reports that a note from Deutsche Bank, which cites Amazon executive Dave Clark, said that the company’s robots led to a 20 percent savings in the e-commerce giant’s operating expenses.
The savings equated to $22 million for each of 13 Amazon distribution centers that currently use the robots.
If implemented in the company’s remaining 110 warehouses, Deutsche Bank estimated the system would lead to another $800 million in one-time savings. The gains could be even larger as the company expands its operations in Asia.
Amazon acquired Kiva in 2012, deployed its robots in warehouses starting in 2014 and rebranded the division as Amazon Robotics last year.
The squat, square-shaped robots can haul up to 750 pounds at speeds of up to 5 miles per hour. Guided by a central computer and navigation points in warehouse floors, they slide underneath shelves and wheel bar code-tracked merchandise to Amazon employees.
The system allowed Amazon warehouses to cut the time from order to shipment by up to 80 percent, as well as improve inventory space by 50 percent.
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