Amazon acquires warehouse-robotics company Canvas Technology

BOULDER — Amazon has acquired Canvas Technology LLC, a Boulder warehouse-robotics company.

The deal was first reported by Tech Crunch. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Canvas was founded in 2015 by Jonathan McQueen, CEO; Sandra McQueen, vice president of marketing; Nima Keivan, chief technology officer; and Juan Falquez. Its technology is based on research conducted at the University of Colorado Boulder’s Autonomous Robotics and Perception Group.

A call to Canvas was not immediately returned. An Amazon spokeswoman provided the following statement when asked to comment on the acquisition: “We are inspired by Canvas Technology’s innovations, and share a common vision for a future where people work alongside robotics to further improve safety and the workplace experience. We look forward to working with Canvas Technology’s fantastic team to keep inventing for customers.”

The acquisition makes a lot of sense for Amazon: Canvas focuses on autonomous warehouse robots that use 3D cameras, sensors and software to create self-driving robots designed specifically for often-chaotic warehouse environments, a system it describes as “spatial AI.”

Warehouses include constantly moving elements, ranging from people to carts, pallets, forklifts and boxes. Canvas’ robotic carts can sense surroundings in 3D, predicting their actions and avoiding obstacles to move products.

Canvas’ website at www.canvas.technology contained no working links Thursday, but an archived version of the website says the company’s technology can:

  • Detect, recognize and interact with objects.
  • Read signs, color, markings and gestures by people.
  • Interpret movements of people or machines and act accordingly.
  • Differentiate between dynamic and static objects.
  • Plan intelligently even where things change continually.
  • Know where you are, indoors or outdoors, with or without GPS.

Canvas is located at 1855 S. 57th Court in Boulder. The company in 2017 secured $15 million in Series A financing. The round was led by Playground Gloval, with other participants including AME Cloud Ventures, Morado Ventures and Xplorer Capital.

Amazon acquired Kiva Systems Inc., another mobile-robotics company, in 2012 for $775 million, rebranding the company as Amazon Robotics.

The Canvas acquisition is just the latest of Amazon’s forays into Boulder. Last year, the company occupied a 37,000-square-foot building at 1900 15th St., where it moved dozens of advertising engineers.

And the company in 2017 took over an existing warehouse at 3550 Frontier Ave.

BOULDER — Amazon has acquired Canvas Technology LLC, a Boulder warehouse-robotics company.

The deal was first reported by Tech Crunch. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Canvas was founded in 2015 by Jonathan McQueen, CEO; Sandra McQueen, vice president of marketing; Nima Keivan, chief technology officer; and Juan Falquez. Its technology is based on research conducted at the University of Colorado Boulder’s Autonomous Robotics and Perception Group.

A call to Canvas was not immediately returned. An Amazon spokeswoman provided the following statement when asked to comment on the acquisition: “We are inspired by Canvas Technology’s innovations, and share a common vision for a future where people work alongside robotics to further improve safety and the workplace experience. We look forward to working with Canvas Technology’s fantastic team to keep inventing for customers.”

The acquisition makes a lot of sense for Amazon: Canvas focuses on autonomous warehouse robots that use 3D cameras, sensors and software to create self-driving robots designed specifically for often-chaotic warehouse environments, a system it describes as “spatial AI.”

Warehouses include constantly moving elements, ranging from people to carts, pallets, forklifts and boxes. Canvas’ robotic carts can sense surroundings in 3D, predicting their actions and avoiding obstacles to move products.

Canvas’ website at www.canvas.technology contained no working links Thursday, but an archived version of the website says the company’s technology can:

  • Detect, recognize and interact with objects.
  • Read signs, color, markings and gestures by people.
  • Interpret movements of people or machines and act accordingly.
  • Differentiate between dynamic and static objects.
  • Plan intelligently even where things change…