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Amid Drone Talk, Amazon Has Real Robots

Published on December 7, 2013
by Greg Bensinger

Amazon got a lot of ink for its sci-fi drone delivery idea this week, but a more real and immediate robot effort underway in the Seattle retailer’s warehouses could save it as much as $916 million a year, according to one analyst.

Amazon’s rollout of robots from a company it bought called Kiva Systems — which can shuttle shelves full of merchandise to warehouse workers rather than the other way around — may help pare 20 percent to 40 percent off the typical $3.50 to $3.75 cost of fulfilling a typical order, says Shawn Milne, a Janney Capital Markets analyst in a research note.

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