From the lab to the field - how to get to market faster

February 18, 2020

The opportunities that exist for organizations to integrate robotics into their operations are enormous. The business benefits are many (including reduction in costs and a more consistent service offering), and decades of advances in hardware and software have made the technology viable in the real-world. So why are there not more robots making it out of the lab, and into the field?

As providers of a robot operations platform, it’s not uncommon for us to see incredible robotic solutions held up by operational challenges. After all, building smart machines is one thing, but successfully integrating a robot into a business is another.

What does it really take to speed up the time it takes you to get your robot to market? Here are the top five things you need to consider when moving your robots from the lab to the field:

1 – Observability

How do you know your robots are working effectively? Even if they are working as intended, do you have a way of ensuring that they are delivering real ROI? Real-time, low-latency streams of data lighting up dashboards you can view from anywhere in the world are the best way to gain insight into whether your robots are actually working how you and your customers expect them to.

2 – Security

Releasing a robot out to the world comes with real risk. Your robot is basically a very sophisticated server running around in the wild. How do you keep it safe, and importantly, keep the people around it safe? The industry is only one security vulnerability away from a serious incident that not only causes harm to humans, but also destroys a company’s reputation. Having a strong culture of security in your organisation, and a strategy for security which encompasses everything from the hardware to remote management systems (and everything in between), is imperative. This is a great primer and is one of our foundation documents for how the Rocos team thinks about hardware security for robotics.

3 – Optimization for the real world

Even the most well-designed robot can have unforeseen challenges when used in the field, especially considering it is likely to encounter conditions your team may never have considered. How quickly you can detect and respond to unexpected behaviour will be the difference between you and your closest competitor. Being able to collect, analyse and then act on field data in real-time is a massive competitive advantage.

4 – Scalability

Do your unit economics work if you need to hire large teams of technicians to support your robots in the field? Making use of an operations platform which centralises monitoring and control means you can scale your field operations sustainably as your business grows, as well as comply with your customers’ expectations for service management. You likely have a team of smart mechatronics engineers, but few with an understanding of enterprise IT service management, which will be essential to deploy your robots into large organisations. The Rocos platform is built with enterprise service management in mind.

5 – Integration Options

No robot is an island – the most effective robot applications are those that integrate effectively with an organisation’s existing systems and processes. Can your robots communicate with existing ERP systems, HR systems, security scheduling systems or IoT systems? Having a platform which provides programmatic access to your robots, as well as easy, secure integration with your customer’s enterprise systems gives you a much faster path to successful robot applications.

As a robotics company, leveraging a platform like Rocos allows you to create efficiency and scale when commercializing your product. It means you can continue to focus on what you do best - building the world’s best robots - while being able to easily connect, monitor and control your robots using a trusted, versatile platform.

To see how Rocos could help you take your robots from the lab to the field faster and with more confidence, request a demo today.

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