With the acquisition of Kiva Systems, the online retailer will further automate its warehouses with robots. Will selling the software that runs the robots become yet another business venture for the company?

Amazon's acquisition of Kiva Systems for $775 million offers a clear (and rather obvious) signal into the present and future of warehouse and inventory management –that of increased automation. The robots manufactured by Kiva will add an increased layer of efficiency to Amazon's shipping regimen, improving human productivity by delivering merchandise to the human works to package and ship. Check out a video of the robots in action below:

It will be interesting to see if Amazon shares any results stemming from increases in productivity and order fulfillment following the implementation of these robots in their warehouses. But we're also curious to see if the technology –the robots operate on software–can or will be commercialized beyond Amazon's warehouses. We assume Amazon will look to expand Kiva's customer base, but can the software that operates the robots become a platform that other business can use?

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