Amazon Acquires Belgian Warehouse Automation Firm Cloostermans

Amazon Buys Warehouse Automation Firm Cloostermans

Aiming to makes its workplaces “safer, simpler and more productive,” Amazon has signed an agreement to acquire Belgium-based mechatronics solution designer and manufacturer Cloostermans.

Cloostermans’ technology is already used in Amazon facilities to move palettes and totes and to package products for delivery. With the acquisition, Amazon will be able to more quickly deploy solutions like these in its workplaces, the company said in a Friday (Sept. 9) press release.

“As we continue to broaden and accelerate the robotics and technology we design, engineer and deploy across our operations, we look forward to welcoming Cloostermans to Amazon and are excited to see what we can build together,” Amazon Vice President of Global Robotics Ian Simpson said in the release.

Amazon began using robotics in its facilities in 2012 and now has more than a half million robotic drive units at work worldwide, the release stated.

One of the latest additions is a fully autonomous mobile robot called Proteus that can perform its work and automatically move around employees, in contrast to other robots that must be confined to separate areas, according to the release.

Read more: Proteus is Amazon’s First Fully Autonomous Mobile Robot

Introduced by Amazon in June, Proteus handles non-automated, wheeled transports that are used to move packages through the company’s fulfillment centers and sort centers.

“Historically, it’s been difficult to safely incorporate robotics in the same physical space as people,” the company said in a blog post at the time. “We believe Proteus will change that while remaining smart, safe and collaborative.”

With the acquisition of Cloostermans, that company’s 200 employees will join the Amazon Global Robotics team in Europe, the release stated.

“We’re thrilled to be joining the Amazon family and extending the impact we can have at a global scale,” Cloostermans CEO Frederik Berckmoes-Joos said in the release. “Amazon has raised the bar for how supply chain technologies can benefit employees and customers, and we’re looking forward to be part of the next chapter of this innovation.”

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