Attabotics Files Patent Infringment Suit Against Urbx Over Robot Shuttles

Attabotics claims that Urbx's dual-robot system for e-commerce fulfillment infringes on multiple patents.


Attabotics dense storage system uses patented robotic shuttles.
As the market for automated storage and retrieval systems grows, so too is competition. Attabotics alleges that Urbx's dual-robot system infringes on multiple patents.

Online retailers, grocery chains, and manufacturers are looking to get the most productivity out of limited or expensive real estate. A number of automation providers have emerged to serve this need, but one challenge is distinguising their unique value proposition. Attabotics last week filed a claim in the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts against Urbx Logistics alleging that it violated its patents.

“Attabotics has a robust and growing portfolio of cutting-edge intellectual property, including patented technology for its unique robotics storage, retrieval, and delivery systems, and [it] is dedicated to ensuring it protects its intellectual property diligently and to the fullest extent of the law,” stated the company.

The lawsuit claims that Urbx’s dual-robot system, infringes on multiple patents held by Attabotics. The Calgary, Alberta-based company is seeking appropriate relief, including a permanent injunction and damages.

Attabotics focuses on space efficiency

Attabotics said it is “the world’s first 3D robotics supply chain system for modern commerce.” The company said its technology, inspired by ant colonies, replaces the rows and aisles of traditional fulfillment centers with a patented storage structure and robotic shuttles that use both horizontal and vertical space. Attabotics said its automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS) can reducing a company’s warehouse needs by 85%.

The company, which raised $50 million in August 2020, has entered partnerships to add software and robotics capabilities to grocery fulfillment. By enabling retailers to place fulfillment centers near high-density urban areas, Attabotics said it can help create jobs and decrease carbon emissions by closing the last-mile delivery gap.

Customers of Attabotics include luxury department store Nordstrom and other retailers across apparel, food and beverage, and home goods. Attabotics said it supplies fulfillment centers across the U.S. and Canada.

Nordstrom works with Attabotics

Nordstrom uses systems from Attabotics and Tompkins Robotics to handle storage and sortation with 90% less floor space. Source: Nordstrom

Urbx offers dual-robot combinations

Urbx said its systems can serve e-commerce, grocery, and manufacturing customers. The Boston-based company said its Urbx Market is “the world's first automated store.”

The Urbx Cube is an ASRS using more than 124 GridBots and 88 TowerBots that can be more than 100 ft. high and have “unlimited tote count.” Urbx's site lists 96,768 to over 290,304 totes, and a total area of 14,400 to more then 40,000 sq. ft.

The Urbx Micro system is designed for micro-fulfillment in urban neighborhoods. It starts at 32 GridBots, 54 TowerBots, and 1,512 totes, and occupies 1,800 to 5,400 sq. ft.

The company claimed that its Urbx Tower system is “ideal for high tote requirements in cities,” at 120 ft. in height. It has a similar footprint to the Micro but can have up to 72,576 totes. In addition, Urbx offers curbside store fulfillment with a footprint of 720 to 900 sq. ft.

Attorneys represent Attabotics

Spencer Chimuk of McLeod Law LLP and David C. Van Dyke of Howard & Howard Attorneys PPLC are representing Attabotics. All inquiries regarding this matter should be directed to legal counsel.

Urbx logistics says its system uses tower vs. digging robots.

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Attabotics dense storage system uses patented robotic shuttles.

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