Jose Vicente Aguerrevere and Max Pedro met 20 years ago as classmates at Harvard Business School in Boston. They came together again in 2016 over a mutual interest in how automation could affect business. While they thought big, their solution was to go small, and together they founded Takeoff Technologies. The Waltham, Mass.-based company provides affordable retail robotics in the most hyperlocal of settings: neighborhood grocery stores, which can benefit from efficient robotic picking and packing, as well as fulfillment that originates close to the end user. Aguerrevere, Takeoff’s CEO, is a mechanical engineer by training. He co-founded Dia Dia, a food chain serving low-income shoppers in Venezuela. Pedro’s experience includes more than seven years heading up the financial services business of Walmart’s international business. With commitments to build dozens of facilities in the coming months and years, Takeoff is already orbiting the planet of e-commerce.