CommonSense Robotic's grocery packing & delivering robots.

Common Sense Robotics announced today that it is changing its name to Fabric in a move that emphasizes the company’s focus on overall logistics and puts its robotic origins on the back burner.

Up until now, Fabric had been best known for building out automated robot fulfillment centers that could be built into dense urban areas to facilitate fast delivery of online grocery shopping orders. The hook for the company was its ability to build its robotics vertically to make more efficient use of the spaces it built into. In July, the company announced it was breaking ground on an 18,000 sq. ft. facility in an underground parking structure in an underground parking structure in Tel Aviv.

In today’s press announcement, Elram Goren, CEO and co-founder of Fabric, provided a statement about the rationale for the name change and the removal of robotics from its name, saying “For us, our robots and software are critical to what we do, but at the end of the day, they’re a means to an end. What we’re really here to do is to be the fabric that binds retailers and their customers together, enabling goods to be fulfilled and delivered faster and cheaper within cities.”

We reached out to Fabric to find out more about the impetus for the name change, and was told that all of the messaging could be found in the press release.

Fabric is part of a wave of companies looking to automate and subsequently speed up online grocery order fulfillment, which is a small-but-growing slice of overall grocery shopping. Takeoff Technologies, which builds similar fulfillment centers in-store, is working with Sedano’s, Ahold Delhaize and Albertsons, and recently announced a standalone fulfillment center in New Jersey for ShopRite. Kroger is building out robotic fulfillment centers using Ocado’s technology. And Walmart is using Alert Innovation for its own back-of-house automated fulfillment.

In addition to the re-brand, Fabric also announced today that it will move its corporate headquarters from Tel Aviv to New York City. So now we’ll have to see if a new name and a new town can help Fabric weave itself into the U.S. grocery business in a meaningful way.

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