Otto partners with AI-startup Covariant
The Otto Group is partnering with Covariant, a company specializing in AI-driven warehouse robots. With the partnership, Otto wants to automate its fulfilment activities and increase its operational efficiency. Otto’s German fulfilment locations will be robotized first.
The German Otto Group owns leading ecommerce brands such as About You and Bonprix. Recently, Otto announced it is disbanding its toy platform MyToys as it was not able to become profitable.
AI-robots for automated warehousing
Covariant was founded in 2017 in the United States. The company offers AI-driven warehouse robots for automated order picking, placement and sorting. Covariant’s robots are used by fulfilment company Active Ants among others. Only a month ago the business raised 75 million dollars, landing the total amount raised at over 200 million dollars.
Covariant has raised over 200 million dollars to date.
German locations to be robotized first
By partnering with Covariant, Otto wants to ‘automate a variety of manual fulfillment activities that previously required hand-eye coordination’, the company writes. The aim is to install hundreds of Covariant’s robotic solutions in Otto Group’s fulfilment centres, starting with the German locations Haldensleben and Altenkunstadt.
‘Answer to shortage of workers’
“Logistics faces the challenge of being as cost-efficient as possible. By using generalist AI, we can rethink our processes in the future and offer an answer to the massive shortage of workers,” says CEO Services Kay Schiebur from the Otto Group.
“We are pleased to continue to be close to our customers.”
He continues: “In times when transshipment often is outsourced to cheaper locations, we are particularly pleased to be able to continue to be close to our customers and to strengthen the European and especially the German locations.”