Concept: US-based robotics company InVia has unveiled autonomous mobile robots to automate operations in warehouse fulfillment centers. The company offers subscription-based Robotics-as-a-Service (RaaS) that consists of autonomous robots, optimization software, and monitoring teams. InVia aims to increase the accuracy and productivity of warehouse fulfillment centers by automating various order fulfillment activities.

Nature of Disruption: InVia’s autonomous robots, InVia Picker is powered by AI-driven software InVia Logic. The warehouse layout is mapped in this InVia Logic software, which drives the robot according to an optimized route to deliver or pick goods to its intended shelf or counter. The software uses a proprietary algorithm to determine the shortest and fastest routes for warehouse workers and robots, resulting in faster cycle times and increased productivity. The InVia Picker is a compact autonomous robot adapted to flooring and racking in the warehouse. It uses the extendable lift to reach upper shelves and has industrial suction cups to pull or push the goods on shelves. These robots have advantages of faster and optimized delivery, reducing the cycle times and increasing productivity by four to five times. Also, as the warehouse capacity increase, the robot’s fleet is scaled up accordingly.

Outlook: Pandemic has highlighted the need to optimize warehouse operations in the e-commerce industry. Warehouse automation is one of the key solutions for optimization that faces the barrier of massive infrastructure investment. InVia’s RaaS solution not only is a cost-effective offering but also has seamless scalability making it convenient for the warehouse. The software platform helps robots and humans alike with visibility to the entire warehouse layout and processes. InVia’s offering also helps in updating the inventory platform.  InVia has raised $30M in a Series C round from Qualcomm Technologies and Microsoft’s M12 Ventures. It intends to use the funds for expansion as well as to enhance the company’s operational support network in North America.