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This is the latest acquisition in Zebra’s campaign to grow in what it calls “intelligent industrial automation”

Zebra Technologies is aiming to expand its presence in the industrial robot industry. This week they announced their plans to acquire startup called Fetch Robotics for $290 million.

The acquisition is still subject to customary closing conditions, but analysts expect it to close by the third quarter.

Fetch specializes in building autonomous warehouse robots that work in fulfillment centers. Their Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) specialize in optimized picking in fulfillment centers and distribution centers. They also apply to just-in-time material delivery in manufacturing facilities and automating manual material movement in any facility.

The company has designed about a half-dozen machines that serve different roles in warehouses. For example, its flagship VirtualConveyor bots are systems that move items around big warehouses on wheels. They can transport pallets and carts of goods and stack them or transfer them to conveyor belts. They can also fetch items for human workers.

Helping both people and robots to “do their very best work”

Anders Gustafsson, Chief Executive Officer of Zebra Technologies, hailed the deal. “The acquisition of Fetch Robotics will accelerate our Enterprise Asset Intelligence vision and growth in intelligent industrial automation by embracing new modes of empowering workflows and helping our customers operate more efficiently in increasingly automated, data-powered environments,” he said.

“This move will also extend our ongoing commitment to optimize the supply chain from the point of production to the point of consumption. We are excited to welcome the Fetch team to the Zebra family.”

“Our goal is to give robots and people the opportunity to do their very best work,” said Bill Burns, Chief Product & Solutions Officer, Zebra Technologies.

“This acquisition is a continuation of what we expect to be a series of innovations that reflect our commitment to creating solutions that help our customers improve their operations through robotics.”