Israeli Caja competes with Amazon’s robots

Caja Systems has made the startling realization that the public likes buying online and wants to make getting your items out of the warehouse even easier

The e-commerce market is continually growing. The bottleneck for companies is their logistics warehouses, which have trouble maintaining a large variety of products and meeting tight supply schedules. Israeli company Caja is taking advantage of the situation by offering a cloud-managed robot service capable of accomplishing real time optimization.

A short pitch: What does the company do?

A: Caja, a startup, turns any manual warehouse into an automated one in just a few hours.

A slightly more thorough explanation

A: Behind every delivery you order online is a warehouse with a limited inventory and times for picking out the item that are growing shorter by the year. Most warehouses, however, still operate according to the same principles as the physical retail sector: inflexible shelving, predetermined demand, and many orders for a single item. In a desperate effort to meet the demands and remain profitable, logistics companies are employing workers who walk an average of 18 kilometers during a shift, because the items are stored on shelves that are two meters high. The companies are setting targets of collecting an item every 30 seconds for 7.5 hours, while trying to optimize warehouse dimensions.

Caja is seeking to change the fundamental assumption of storage theory by completely adapting it to e-commerce. The company uses easy and elastic shelving that is variable at each point in time. Reliable robots are in action 24/7. An overall system on the cloud performs real time optimization. The brain of the system is based on 4D navigation, meaning that the robots do not move and respond according to sensors. They know in advance where on the warehouse map they should be at all times. When the time dimension was added, we achieved complete coordination between the robots, complete optimization of the warehouse, and the ability to supply goods in just a few minutes.

Q: How did you get the idea?

A: As software engineers and e-commerce website founders, we were very familiar with the manual warehouse problem. With the rapid growth in unknown demand, we realized that the weak link was on the logistics side, and decided to take up the challenge. We initially looked for automatic alternatives, but found solutions that were very expensive and solved only some of the critical problems. The more we looked, the more we understood the problems. We also saw an opportunity, and that’s how Caja (“box” in Spanish) was born…

This post originally appeared on GeekTime.