Softbank invests $ 2.8 billion in warehouse robotics specialist AutoStore



Posted on Apr 6, 2021 9:10 AMUpdated Apr 6, 2021, 9:17 AM

Convinced that humans will gradually entrust machines with all the exhausting work carried out in factories or in large logistics centers, Masayoshi Son has just signed the acquisition, for 2.8 billion dollars, of 40% of the robotics company Norwegian AutoStore System. “We believe that AutoStore has a fundamental technology that will offer fast and profitable logistics to companies around the world,” said the boss of the large Japanese investment fund SoftBank Group, which is increasing investments in the intelligence sector. artificial.

AutoStore, valued at $ 7.7 billion with this operation, has specialized in the development of giant warehouses that are almost completely automated. Its engineers have developed software and small cubic robots – including the “R5” – capable of moving alone along the shelves to retrieve goods ordered online and move them in a dedicated bin to a hatch, where human staff finalize the package before placing it in the delivery vans. “In total, more than 20,000 AutoStore robots are currently deployed in more than 600 installations in 35 countries”, assures the company, which counts among its customers the companies Puma, Gucci or Best Buy.

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