Friday, November 9, 2007

High-Tech Warehouse...

Here's a fascinating story (if you're a geeky type) about a radical new design for warehouses, enabled by very smart robotics. The story likens the design to random access memory (the RAM of your computer), but I think a closer analogy would be a disk cache.

The graphic (above right) is a schematic of shelving units, color-coded for how frequently the items on them sell (red most frequently, violet least frequently). The entire system self-adapts to the changing sales rates of the goods on each shelf. This is exactly the behavior of a LRU (least recently used) disk cache.

This is a great example of modern technology penetrating the most mundane of industries. Right now (as usual) it's only cost-effective at very large scales; in a few years the costs will come down and you'll see this technology in even small warehouses...

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