May 5, 2010

Kiva Systems robots now pick up trash

By DC Velocity Staff

Kiva Systems, the manufacturer of robots that bring shelves to order pickers, announced a new product, a new customer, and a new executive at the NA 2010 Show.

The company had one of its new automated trash and recycling bins on display at the show. These bins are designed for warehouses and DCs that need to dispose of packing material, cardboard, and similar waste. Kiva's small, orange robots carry recycling or trash "pods" to the bin, which then picks them up. When the barrels are in position, an automated arm lifts the barrel and dumps the contents into a dumpster, compactor, or baler. The system is cost-effective, said Vice President of Marketing Mitch Rosenberg, because it uses the same robots that move the picking shelves, and it saves workers from having to gather up waste and carry it to another part of a building.

The company also announced the appointment of Amy Villeneuve as president and chief operating officer. Villeneuve will oversee sales and marketing and customer development, including installation and support. Much of her business experience has been in the automotive industry. She holds a master's degree in business administration from Harvard Business School and a Master in Science, Industrial Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Finally, the company announced that the department store chain Von Maur Inc. has purchased a mobile robotic fulfillment system for its Davenport, Iowa, distribution center. The Kiva System will be used for order fulfillment of Von Maur's Internet retail operation.

More coverage from NA 2010