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Gap Expands Kindred SORT AI Powered Robot Fleet

June 9, 2020

Gap has purchased 73 additional SORT robots to install in its U.S. distribution centers, to bring its total fleet to 106. Kindred has already deployed 20 of the new SORT systems to Gap Inc.’s largest-volume distribution center in Columbus, Ohio and 10 to a center near Nashville, Tennessee, helping Gap Inc. meet the increasing demand for online orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Gap Inc. has made a bold statement with its investment to increase its robotics footprint across its supply chain significantly,” said Marin Tchakarov, COO of Kindred. “Global retailers realize intelligent robotics are the only way to meet increasing customer delivery expectations and consistent throughput. Kindred’s modularity, price-per-pick and quick implementation model help retailers big and small embrace robotic automation.”

Between January 1, 2020 and April 30, 2020, Gap Inc. has used SORT robotics systems to sort more than 13 million units of merchandise. During that time frame, the systems facilitated an average sorting speed of 335 units per hour and maintained uptime at 99.8%.

“We’re pleased that our partnership with Kindred has grown from a test pilot to a full deployment of their SORT robots across our U.S. network – especially at a time when we’re trying to keep our employees safe,” said Kevin Kuntz, Senior Vice President of Global Logistics Fulfillment at Gap Inc. “We look forward to working together with Kindred on cutting-edge automation.”

Gap Inc. has been using SORT robotic piece-picking systems for secondary sortation points at its distribution centers in Tennessee, California and New York since 2017. Once the additional systems are deployed, Gap Inc. will have paired SORT robotics with all the automated primary sortation systems in its distribution network.

“Applying automation and artificial intelligence-based solutions to e-commerce logistics and fulfillment, allows retailers to scale their operations predictability and efficiently,” said Pierre Lamond, Chairman of the Board for Kindred and Partner at Eclipse Ventures. “Furthermore, as we see in the current crisis, retailers with resilient operations outperform the competition in areas such as customer satisfaction, sales and margins. We have digitized the commerce side of the retail equation, now we must modernize the rest of the value chain to meet increasing demand.”

SORT piece-picking robots utilize AutoGraspTM, a robotics intelligence platform that identifies and singulates items to pick and place into an automated putwall. AutoGraspTM combines vision, grasping and manipulation algorithms to move clothing, poly bags and other small items. Kindred uses cutting-edge AI research and human-in-the-loop data methodology to continuously improve robot capabilities so that picking becomes smarter, faster and more accurate over time.

Kindred SORT robots have picked more than 60 million units in production to date.

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