Robots-As-A-Service Lowers Automation Adoption Barriers
Robots-as-a-Service (RaaS) is a flexible and affordable way for companies to deploy automation and related services such as engineering, maintenance, and remote monitoring.To get more news about Robots as a Service
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Often used interchangeably with Robotics-as-a-Service, RaaS comes in two main flavors. In its original meaning, RaaS refers to services where customers can get everything they need from hardware, engineering and maintenance in one package, explains Peter Seiff, CEO at Aethon, a major player in service and material handling robots for the hospital and hospitality sectors.
“Aethon’s philosophy has always been to be a vertically integrated company. So, we do our own engineering and design. We manufacture robots. We sell the robots. On the customer side, we install the robots, we maintain the robots, and we provide a 24/7 remote monitoring service to make sure that the robots are always performing as they should be.”
However, over time, a newer understanding of RaaS model has emerged and come to dominate the conversation.
“The flavor more associated with RaaS today is charging per unit of work rather than per robot. Instead of charging for the hardware and software as a product itself you pay for the service it is delivering. Aethon offers both,” says Seiff.
Paying per item of work speeds return on investment (ROI) and reduces total cost of ownership (TCO) for the deployment compared to traditional ways of purchasing and implementing industrial automation.
The two flavors are not mutually exclusive: Today’s RaaS offerings typically include all the engineering and monitoring services and the option to pay per item of work performed. As Seiff puts it: “RaaS is more than a pricing model.”
RaaS is on the rise. The experts at market analysts ABI Research predict that there will be 1.3 million installations of RaaS by 2026 generating $34 billion in revenue. Meanwhile, a 2021 report from market analysts Technavio predicts that the RaaS market will grow by USD 832.77 million between 2020 and 2024, at a CAGR of 17%.Adding robotics automation to a facility was traditionally thought to be only for the “big guys” due to the capital expense costs involved, says Rick Faulk, CEO at Locus Robotics, a leading developer of autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) for warehouse and logistics applications.
“The RaaS model significantly reduces the typically high operational costs and technology barriers usually associated with conventional automation solutions that often can take years to deploy. There’s no hidden capital-intensive expenses or expensive maintenance contracts, and you’ll always have the latest software updates and hardware support built in,” explains Faulk.
RaaS effectively “democratizes robotics automation” by lowering the cost of entry and bringing cutting-edge robotics technology into all sizes of warehouses, Faulk adds.
Advanced warehouse automation was once for “the 1% of large companies,” says Kristen Moore CMO inVia Robotics, a leading warehouse automation company that has provided RaaS services since launch and provides remote monitoring services as well as engineering and maintenance.