The Canadian government says it’s investing $34 million in Attabotics, a high-density automated storage company.

“The hard-working people at Attabotics have made the company a great example of a Canadian success story,” said Ali Ehsassi, parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “Today’s announcement will build on Canada’s global leadership in AI by supporting Canadian research and bringing a one-of-a-kind robotic technology to market that will create good jobs and boost Canadian economic growth. This investment will help restart Canada’s economy and help grow it back better in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Attabotics has previously received $84.3 million through various government funding including the Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP), Western Economic Diversification Canada, and the Strategic Innovation Fund. In addition, the company recently received $66 million in series C venture capital funding.

A worker managing the storage blocks of Attabotics’ warehouse system. Image source: Attabotics.

Attabotics focuses on developing vertically stacked warehouse storage solutions for the supply chain. As opposed to storing items on long shelves and racks, Attabotics storage solution condenses them into vertical 3D complexes. Robots on rails retrieve the items in place of humans, and the system uses AI to predict where to store what items for the fastest retrieval time.

In an interview with CNBC, Scott Gravelle, Attabotics chief executive officer, said that the company’s storage solution can shrink a warehouse’s footprint to just 15 per cent while increasing productivity.

According to Research and Markets, the warehouse automation market will grow to $27 billion by 2025, a CAGR of 11.7 per cent. Fueled by the booming e-commerce, multichannel distribution channel, and increased adoption of micro-fulfilment centres, the supply chain industry will need to rely on technology as the logistics industry stresses the labour force. Amazon, for example, uses more than 200,000 automated robots in its warehouses.

Moreover, the report also noted a competitive landscape. Only around 30 companies are capable of delivering extensive automated warehouse solutions, and only seven of which can deliver equipment to fulfill all logistics needs.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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