Amazon seems to do a pretty good job of getting its products out of its warehouses and into the hands of shipping companies, but things should get even better with an acquisition the company announced today. The company has purchased Kiva Systems, a robot-based material handing company that stores, transports, and sorts items in warehouses to help prepare them for delivery. According to a CNN Money report from late last year, Amazon — as well as Staples, Crate and Barrel, and the Gap — already uses Kiva Systems' solutions that are advertised as helping reduce shipping times from two to three days down to one. A "large warehouse operation" from the company with 1,000 robots can cost anywhere from $15 to $20 million to deploy. According to a press release from Amazon announcing the acquisition, the retailer will pay $775 million in cash to purchase the company, which will remain at its current location in Massachusetts. We don't yet know if the move will mean Kiva Systems' current customers will need to find another solution or if Amazon will just get access to the best robots before everyone else.
Update: An Amazon spokesperson has told us that "Kiva customers will continue to receive service and support after the transaction."