Kindred AI, also known as Kindred Systems, was founded in June 2014 by George Babu, Suzanne Gildert and James Bergstra and Geordie Rose. Rose is previous founder and CEO of D-Wave Systems, with Gildert previously employed at the company as well. Headquartered in San Francisco, California, Kindred also has offices in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
SORT is an autonomous learning machine marketed towards retail fulfillment centers, that combines physical sorting robots with integration consulting and remote piloting services to manage, sort and move products. SORT uses machine learning algorithms to learn from previous management systems to automate repetitive tasks and increase productivity.
The machines use their sensors and physical arms to sort items. If the robot reaches a problem in their sorting or is unsure how to proceed, it will flag a human observer who will take control of the machine to solve the problem. This effectively teaches the machine how to solve the problem moving forward, and requires less human-to-human contact.
Kindred released SORT 3.7 in Atlanta on March 9-12, 2020, with the claim the unit can sort 400 units per hour consistently. On October 12, 2020, the company announced that its fleet of machines sold to businesses have picked and sorted a lifetime of 100 million retail units since market launch in 2017.
AutoGrasp is Kindred's robotics intelligence platform, which utilizes AI algorithms to combine vision, grasping and manipulation functions in robots. The platform allows real-time machine learning in unstructured environments that include changing variables, making it useful in fulfillment and sorting centers.
SenseAct was introduced in September 2018 as an open-source task suite, used to develop and evaluate reinforcement learning methods with physical robots. The interface is aimed to enable responsive learned behavior and reliable learning in a variety of robots including UR Robotic Arms, Dyamixels Servos and Create 2 Mobile Bases.
Following the growth of Kindred's SORT robots, Kindred decided to spin-off its Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) research division in January 2018. Geordie Rose and Suzanne Gildert stepped down as CEO and CSO to co-found Sanctuary.AI, a spin-off aimed at creating robots with human-like appearance and intelligence. COO Jim Liefer stepped up to take over as CEO, with co-founder James Bergstra assuming the CSO role.
Ocado Group, a British online supermarket with no physical retail stores, announced on November 2, 2020, that it had acquired Kindred Systems for approximately $262 million USD (along with Las Vegas-based robotics arm creator Haddington Dynamics). Ocado's warehouses focus on robotic automation, which has attracted the attention of other grocers; Kroger announced November 24, 2020 they will use Ocado's technology in their own fulfillment centers.
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Co-Founder, board member
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