If you attended this year's ProMat show in Chicago, there probably were moments when you thought you had accidentally wandered into a zoo. Certainly, many of the exhibiting companies' names brought animals to mind. Here are some that caught our eye as we wandered the aisles:
Most zoolike of all was Kiva Systems' exhibit, which featured a corral enclosing a herd of the company's small orange order-retrieval robots. The metal fence was adorned with signs asking viewers to refrain from feeding the robots as well as amusing explanatory placards that featured photos of each "species" along with its common and "scientific" names, physical characteristics, habitat, and behavior. Visitors learned, for example, that the Common Blue Inventory Pod (itemus gogetemus) spends most of its time in herds. Kiva's marketing staff came up with the idea after seeing attendees at an earlier show hanging on the fence and watching the pods zip around the floor.