MODEX: How quickly things change
At previous MODEX events – trade shows exhibiting the latest manufacturing and supply chain equipment and technologies – Kiva had their own boothes. Big boothes with lots of people marveling at their orange robots. Today at MODEX, those orange robots were moving to a different drummer.
Amazon was marketing their full-service distribution service – and also doing some recruiting. Kiva was in the background playing a support role – which is what Amazon was marketing.
At day 1 of MODEX, one could see lots of joint ventures involving robotics:
- Adept provides a mobile platform for Demantic’s AGVs
- Yale provides a driverless lift for Seegrid’s new autonomous forklift
- Seegrid provides the navigation and vision systems for Yale’s new autonomous forklift
Also shown were many products meant to ease ergonomic strain on human workers.
- Caster and wheel companies were showing new technologies to reduce push and pull strain
- Coiled vacuum lifts for lifting boxes onto tables or conveyors
- Forklift companies were adding rollers on their forks to reduce torque needed to squeeze under a skid
PS: This may help explain why Google acquired Holomni, the creator of high-tech powered casters for omnidirectional motion … mobile consumer products in the future?