A Fetch AMR transports boxes across a warehouse
By Your Edge Blog Team | June 30, 2022

One Year Later: How Zebra and Fetch Robotics Have Become Better Together – to the Benefit of Front-Line Workers

Two world-renowned automation experts analyze the robotics innovations that have resulted from Zebra’s acquisition of Fetch. They also reveal what new robot solutions you can expect to see in the future.

Collective intelligence is far more powerful than any single human or artificial intelligence (AI). That’s why Zebra has long valued the collaboration of global partners, customers, front-line workers, and other innovators. We know we are all better together – that it’s easier to identify and solve the root cause of business problems that impact society at large.

The value of collective intelligence and collaborative innovation is also why we are very deliberate with our merger and acquisition (M&A) strategy. We know that if we can add more capabilities to our portfolio, then we can develop and deliver more tools that help front-line workers. We can remove roadblocks and accelerate business improvements; however, we need diversity of thought to drive progress in our research, development, manufacturing and solution deployment initiatives. 

That’s why every acquisition brings tremendous value to Zebra, our partners, customers and consumers globally. Such expansion invites new knowledge and perspectives to every decision, allowing us to deliver solutions – not just products. We can help drive positive outcomes for our customers, which then enables them to better serve their customers.  

Just ask our customers. It has only been one year since Zebra acquired Fetch Robotics, yet we’ve helped customers overcome numerous challenges through our rapid, joint innovation. So, we thought it would be good to check back in with Jim Lawton, who leads Zebra’s Robotics Automation business, and Melonee Wise, who is driving Zebra’s robotics automation innovation efforts within the Chief Technology Office. We wanted to see how much our integrated team has been able to accomplish since coming together.  

Zebra and Fetch Robotics: One Year Later

Tune into the 30-minute discussion now to hear:

  • [:55] How Zebra and Fetch have been able to bring their shared vision for automation to life in a very short period of time – and how customers are reacting to what we’ve been able to accomplish together so quickly.

  • [6:05] The key milestones that Zebra and Fetch have hit in the past 12 months from a technology development and industry acceptance perspective. (Spoiler alert: We launched our first joint fulfillment solution in four short months and had it fully deployed in a real-world customer setting in 90 days. We’ve also improved AMRs’ social behaviors tremendously!)

  • [9:38] Why Jim is on a mission to make robots more accessible to companies of all sizes, and how he plans to see it through. 

  • [11:45] What Melonee and other roboticists are doing to make everyone more comfortable deploying and working around industrial robots, especially autonomous mobile robots (AMRs). 

  • [13:41] How decision-makers and front-line workers in manufacturing, warehousing, logistics, healthcare and government are really feeling about robots and how their attitudes are changing toward AMRs specifically.

  • [19:10] What Jim and Melonee predict will be the tipping point for AMR adoption based on trends they’re seeing unfold in supply chain environments right now. 

  • [21:33] How AMRs are helping warehouse operators, manufacturers and other companies simultaneously stop “The Great Resignation” and catch their operational capacity up to customers’ demands in the “on demand economy.”

  • [25:15] What’s on the automation innovation roadmap for Zebra+Fetch for the next 12 months 

  • [27:57] How you might see AMRs working together with RFID, machine vision, mobile computing and even printing platform to improve workflows, make front-line work easier and help supply chain companies better keep up with demands from customers and regulators.

  • [30:15] Whether Zebra’s robotics automation portfolio will ever expand beyond AMRs, and what Jim says when asked if Zebra will be more apt to “build, buy or partner” to deliver the types of strategic automation solutions customers need.

  • [32:07] What excites them both the most about robotics automation right now 


Healthcare, Warehouse and Distribution, Automation, Leadership, Innovative Ideas, Retail, Hospitality, Manufacturing, Transportation and Logistics, Inside Zebra Nation, Podcast, Public Sector,
Zebra’s “Your Edge” Blog Team
Zebra’s “Your Edge” Blog Team

The “Your Edge” Blog Team is comprised of content curators and editors from Zebra’s Global PR, Thought Leadership and Advocacy team. Our goal is to connect you with the industry experts best-versed on the issues, trends and solutions that impact your business. We will collectively deliver critical news analysis, exclusive insights on the state of your industry, and guidance on how your organization can leverage a number of different proven technology platforms and strategies to capture your edge.

Zebra Developer Blog
Zebra Developer Blog

Are you a Zebra Developer? Find more technical discussions on our Developer Portal blog.

Zebra Story Hub
Zebra Story Hub

Looking for more expert insights? Visit the Zebra Story Hub for more interviews, news, and industry trend analysis.

Search the Blog
Search the Blog

Use the below link to search all of our blog posts.