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ABB, the world-leading supplier of industrial robots, and Silicon Valley AI start-up, Covariant, today announced a partnership to bring AI-enabled robotics solutions to market, starting with a fully autonomous warehouse order fulfilment solution martech news.

The partnership brings together the two companies with a shared vision for robotics enabled by AI, where intelligent robots work alongside humans in dynamic environments, collectively learning and improving with every task completed.

Given the accelerated global growth experienced in the e-commerce sector, ABB identified a significant opportunity for AI-enabled robotics solutions across a broad range of applications including logistics, warehousing, and parcels and mail sorting. Global revenues in e-commerce are expected to increase by over 50 percent within the next five years, rising from 1.7 trillion Euros in 2019 to 2.6 trillion Euros in 2024, according to Statista martech.

The growing demand for e-commerce fulfilment services and the complex and labor-intensive nature of the process offers unique potential for intelligent automation. The market is growing at a steady pace (4-5% CAGR) and is expected to reach a value of 51.3 billion Euros by 2021, according to procurement intelligence firm Beroe Inc. Today, warehouse operations are labor intensive, and the industry struggles to find and retain employees for picking and packing. While robots are ideally suited to repetitive tasks, until now they lacked the intelligence to identify and handle tens of thousands of constantly changing products in a typical dynamic warehouse operation.

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