Takeoff Technologies, a Waltham, Massachusetts-based startup, is launching a new technology that is bringing automation to the grocery e-commerce industry. Customer orders are placed online through their local grocery store and filled by “automated micro fulfillment centers” provided by Takeoff, where AI-enabled robots assemble full supermarket orders of 60 items in just a few minutes.
According to Takeoff, these fulfillment centers need one-tenth the footprint of a typical supermarket thanks to innovative robotics and compact vertical spaces.
“The time is ripe for e-groceries,” said Jose Vicente Aguerrevere, co-founder and CEO of Takeoff. “Grocers have been dipping their toes in e-groceries for years. Now it’s time to jump in with both feet. Our automated, hyperlocal fulfillment centers enable grocers to do so with minimal operational costs.”
Takeoff’s micro fulfillment centers are set to be built throughout the U.S., and the company hopes they will result in a “convenient and hyper-local solution” for grocery shoppers nationwide.
“Retailers can leverage underutilized real estate by turning existing stores into micro distribution centers with Takeoff’s technology,” the company says. “These centers require only a small fraction of store space and can serve a broader market through a hub-and-spoke approach.”
“Takeoff is a win-win for grocers and consumers across the board,” said Max Pedro,Takeoff co-founder and president. “Our e-grocery automation is a turn-key solution that uses robotics to unlock ultimate convenience for shoppers without need of charging fees or a price premium.”
The first micro fulfillment center will go live in October 2018, with several others scheduled to follow.