Alert Innovation, Inc., North Billerica, Mass., partnered with Murata Machinery Ltd. (Muratec), Charlotte, N.C., develop and commercialize Alert Innovation's Alphabot material handling technology. 

"We developed the Alphabot technology to solve arguably the most difficult automation challenge in any industry, namely automating the supermarket," says John Lert, founder and CEO of Alert Innovation. "In solving that problem, we have created a technology that will be the best-in-class solution for a broad array of automation problems as well. Our partnership with Murata makes it possible for companies other than food retailers to benefit from this breakthrough technology, and it will also make both Muratec and Alert Innovation stronger companies in the process."

Alphabot features robots that can navigate three-dimensional structures. This picking technology will power retail applications ranging from store-level micro-fulfillment systems to e-commerce fulfillment centers.

"We believe the flexible mobile robotics solution that Alert Innovation has pioneered in the United States will provide distinct advantages for our customers with regard to storage density, cost efficiency and high reliability with no single point of failure," says Toshihiko Ishiyama, managing director of Muratec.