Nomination
An alumnus of the class of 1982 writes, "We are proposing a Kiva Robotic Drive Unit be used as the physical article for display in the Exhibit.

"The Kiva Systems Mobile Robotic Fulfillment Solution is a revolutionary material handling system for automating warehouse order picking operations. It is built on a foundation of autonomous mobile robots, mobile shelving units, ergonomic work stations and sophisticated control software. With customers including Staples, Walgreens, The Gap, and Zappos.com using the innovative solution, Kiva has made the futuristic looking material handling system a reality today. The company and the entire solution was imagined, conceived, engineered, and built by a team of individuals whose entrepreneurial drive and spirit took root at MIT.

"The Kiva solution is ground breaking. The team at Kiva designs and builds all the major components of the system from the robots and shelving hardware to the navigation, control and business software. Aberdeen Group Analyst Ian Hobkirk claims, “Kiva represents the first really new technology in order fulfillment in years, and just happens to address a key need – perhaps the top need…” ARC Advisory Group analyst, Steve Banker said of Kiva Systems, “This is the most flexible material handling solution since forklifts…” Material handling solutions and equipment is a $100 Billion industry worldwide and Kiva is at the forefront of innovation and value.

"Kiva Systems exists today because of the MIT community. Kiva was founded in 2003 by an MIT alum named Mick Mountz. To bring his vision to life, Mick tapped the brightest, most focused and trusted individuals he knew – the friends and colleagues he made while he was an undergraduate at MIT. They in turn called on other MIT alumni and in some cases engineers from rival institutions they met while competing in collegiate engineering contests. The collective team formed the heart of the organization and brought to bear all the necessary skills to deliver the game-changing company and transformational product suite. In addition, Mick located the company in Massachusetts in part to draw on the pipeline of talent he could recruit from MIT. The 120 person Kiva team includes over 15 individual MIT alums, of which 8 are in the executive ranks including:

Mick Mountz, CEO
Mitch Rosenberg, VP of Marketing
Mark Mastandrea, VP of Customer Solutions
Rob Stevens, VP of Business Development
Benge Ambrogi, VP of Product Development
Matt Verminski, VP of Hardware Engineering
Pete Wurman, Engineering Fellow, Software Architecture
Pete Mansfield, Engineering Fellow, Hardware Systems


"It is appropriate to say that Kiva Systems exists today because all the necessary skills to bring the company and product to fruition were amassed by tapping into the MIT community."
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Comments
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  • Actual brought innovative idea to industry.

    Michael Sandmann

    11 Nov 09 at 11:04 am

  • This is very cool stuff. You should see the videos on YouTube. This one was done by IEEE – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWsMdN7HMuA

    I heard that some of their customers have over 500 of these orange bots running around in a single warehouse.

    Kelly Blair

    15 Nov 09 at 12:54 pm

  • I have been in the Materials Handling industry for about 20 years. Kiva has developed a small quantity picking system that has been needed forever. It is very innovative and I believe it will be an extremely successful venture.

    G A Kirsch

    19 Nov 09 at 11:08 pm

  • I’m sorry, but I have a hard time understanding how this nomination ranks among the top 12 things at MIT of all time. This thing is beating out the Smoots, the Harvard-Yale football hack, the Great Dome, Harold Edgerton, Norbert Wiener… incredible.

    1980 Alum

    23 Nov 09 at 8:20 pm

  • Whoops. Not the Smoots. At least not yet… just Oliver Smoot, not the ones on the bridge.

    1980 Alum

    23 Nov 09 at 10:53 pm

  • I worked for them in the start up phase for to start up their production floor. My gut feeling from the beginning was this Kiva Systems was going to go all the way. The talent they have in Engineering is absolutely incredible. Kiva is going to be the company to watch as they revolutionize warehouse fulfillment automation systems.

    Roger Ross

    19 Jan 10 at 12:01 pm