Fifty-Two

That’s how many pairs of shoes I own. Many of them, frankly, need to be retired and replaced. But I love them so – especially the pink and lavender ones with the cool brushed metal piece on the heel. Perhaps I’ll take those in to the Cowboy Boot Hospital to have the little divots in the heels replaced and the toes buffed up and shined. Maybe new suede lining put in… Pardon me as I fantasize about refurbishing my shoes…

I used to stop into Otto Tootsi Plohound when I lived in Union Square. I called it the Art Store. Pretty, pretty shoes. Mostly unaffordable to me. But I did love to look. Nowadays I’m too busy to go into an actual shoe store, so I wind up using the Internets to satiate my shoe cravings. And Zappos is definitely a great way to go. Multiple views of the shoe itself, descriptions of the fit and comfort, reviews by others who’ve bought the same pair giving advice on whether to size up or down, how well a boot fits around the amply-calved, and whether the heel is sturdy enough to make it through a night of dancing on beer slicked tables at German Mardi Gras. I have purchased many a shoe from Zappos, especially last summer when my Michael Kors fetish was in full effect (this year it’s Corso Como, baby!).

I mean, come on people, check these beauty booties!

I heart them.

However, while they are indeed gorgeous, they are not much robot-like. I mean, except insofar as metallic booties can take you in the direction of some sex kitten robot from the future. You know, like the Svedka robotrix:

But WERE YOU AWARE that Zappos serves up their shoes using actual, bona fide robots?!?! Well, were you?!?!

It’s all true. According to CNET:

The Kiva Mobile Fulfillment System from Massachusetts-based Kiva Systems, is basically a team of autonomous, stout, orange robots that sort, store, and move inventory in warehouses. The robots essentially bring the assembly line to the warehouse worker to fill orders more quickly.

Instead of having people walking around a warehouse with a cart and looking for ordered items to put into boxes, the robots automatically bring the items to them.

I love the thought of a shoe warehouse in Kentucky, buzzing with the hum of an efficient, orange, robot army. And now that I’ve spent the last twenty minutes or so looking on Zappos, I have come t this conclusion: Oh, Michael Kors, prince of American sportswear, you do make a fine lookin’ shoe! I think I may need those robots to fetch me some sassy pumps! Fetch, bot, fetch!

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