October 4, 2022

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Amazon Invests in BionicHIVE for Automated Warehouse Solution

3 min read

In recent news, Amazon, the popular e-commerce giant has decided to make investments in a robotics company based in the State of Israel. BionicHIVE is a developer of an advanced and automated warehouse solution, which is primarily based on several fleets of synchronized autonomous robots. The two companies together made this announcement. BionicHIVE is popular for making SqUID, which is a robotic device powered specifically by an algorithmic engine based on AI. It has the ability to categorize, pick, as well as put away all kinds of packages. Moreover, it can navigate the warehouse floors, simply with the help of in-built sensors and cameras. This allows the robot to move freely between objects and people. 

The firm revealed that the robots of this fleet have been deployed to aid in operations in a broad range of supply chain facilities throughout the country, in order to help them utilize existing boxes and shelving racks. In the year 2021, Elon Musk, business magnate of Tesla, SpaceX and several other interests and companies, watched a video of the SqUID robots in action. He went on to tweet that the robot future that the world had once only dreamed of is quite near. BionicHIVE is based in Sderot, which is a town located in the region of Southern Israel. It has been bootstrapped since the year 2014. This was when it was founded by a couple of entrepreneurs, namely Tomer Amit, Ilan Reingold, and Liran Raizer. 

The announcement made together by the two companies did not disclose the amount of investment made by the eCommerce giant. However, the funds allocated by Amazon mark the first big-name backer for the Israel-based firm. The multinational commerce, tech, cloud computing, and streaming company made its investment by way of an Industrial Innovation Fund launched by it. The total capacity of the fund is $1 billion and was created to spur fulfillment, supply chain, as well as logistics innovation. Moreover, it hopes to help the warehouse solution firm improve its employee and customer experience.

As per Amazon, the Industrial Innovation Fund will be looking to make significant investments in companies that hope to seek advance solutions and increase the delivery speed. It is going to be catering to firms that want to improve the working conditions of their logistics and warehouse employees. The ecommerce giant has been credited with having more than 2,000 facilities across the globe, which include processing, delivery, and fulfillment centers. Over 300 facilities of this kind are currently in the works. Reports have revealed that Amazon has more than a million employees throughout the US and 1.5 million across the world. The employment conditions of the company’s warehouse workers have time and time again been scrutinized and criticized. 

In addition to BionicHIVE, Amazon used its new fund to make investments in four different robotics firms, all of which are operating in the US. However, the investment amounts for any of them were not disclosed. Katherine Chen, the chairwoman of the Industrial Innovation Fund, also added that the company is looking to provide support to emerging technologies by way of direct investments. 

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