Editor's note: Innovation is everywhere — from inside a massive urban park to the robots sorting cat food. This week's top stories are as diverse as they come, but they all represent Houston tech and innovation.
How Amazon's Houston fulfillment center uses AI technology and robotics to move millions of products
From robotics to artificial intelligence, here's how Amazon gets its products to Houstonians in record time. Photo by Natalie Harms/InnovationMap
Last summer, Amazon opened the doors to its North Houston distribution center — one of the company's 50 centers worldwide that uses automation and robotics to fulfill online orders.
The Pinto Business Park facility has millions of products in inventory across four floors. Products that are 25 pounds or less (nothing heavier is stocked at this location) pass through 20 miles of conveyor belts, 1,500 employees, and hundreds of robots. Read the full story here.
Memorial Park Conservancy's renovations include some projects that are rare or never been done before. Photo courtesy of MPC
Memorial Park is undergoing a huge transformation that is mixing a little bit of old with the new.
The Memorial Park Master Plan includes adding breathtaking new projects — like water features, a new athletic complex, and more — as well as conservation efforts that restore parts of the land that were native coastal prairie. The project is a collaborative effort between Memorial Park Conservancy, Uptown Houston TIRZ, and Houston Parks and Recreation Department to redevelop the 1,500-acre park. Read the full story here.
Houston has seen four new accelerators enter the market this year. Photo by Zview/Getty Images
It's official — 2019 is the year of accelerators in Houston. Four different accelerator programs have announced plans to launch Houston programs this year so far — and they are all bringing something different to the table.
All four of the programs represent global programs or big companies recognizing the potential in Houston, which, according to Yael Hochberg, head of the Rice University Entrepreneurship Initiative, is a key part of the equation.
"When you're talking about a place like Houston, what we need here right now is interest from the outside," Hochberg says. "We need some certification by people from the outside that in fact this is a destination for innovation and entrepreneurship." Read the full story here.
These three innovators are ones to look out for. Courtesy photos
From venture capital funding to nap research, these Houston innovators are leading the way in their industries. This week's innovators to know are a finance expert, LGBT leader and productivity expert, and a Houston expat making big moves in real estate. Read the full story here.
The new $16 million Comcast facility is another feather in the cap of Fort Bend County, which is booming with new business.Courtesy of Comcast
At Comcast's new $16 million technology center in Missouri City, technicians for the internet and cable TV provider can "test drive" new product and services at a demo lab and can take classes at Comcast University. It's a far cry from the stereotypical workplace of the "cable guy."
The center represents a cutting-edge expansion for Comcast — and represents yet another feather in the economic-growth cap of Missouri City and Fort Bend County.
On June 19, officials from Comcast, Missouri City government, and the Fort Bend Economic Development Council debuted the 32,000-square-foot center. The center is at 551 Buffalo Lakes Dr., near the intersection of Texas Freeway and Independence Boulevard. Aside from the demo lab and Comcast University classrooms, the center features more than 100 workstations and 15 conference rooms. Read the full story here.