In line with the ‘Everything as a Service’ philosophy, Robotics as a Service, also known as Robots as a Service or RaaS, is changing how small and medium-sized companies automate their processes. Once exclusive to large companies with abundant resources, robotics is now transforming the business landscape across the world.
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- Robotics as a Service Explained
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This is something that companies throughout a variety of industries need to understand, both for the benefits and challenges this technology will bring. With time, it will become a standard practice to have robots performing certain tasks. In this post we discuss what RaaS is, its importance, and how your company can benefit from it.
Robotics as a Service Explained
RaaS is all about automation. It refers to a form of service-oriented computing where companies can hire robots on demand. This means that it is not necessary to buy them directly, helping reduce capital expenses for small and medium sized enterprises that might not have the liquidity for such costly investments.
One way to look at this is as if it were a lease. By hiring robots as just another computer-related service, more companies can access automation technologies through OPEX rather than CAPEX expenses. This helps reduce entry barriers for companies wishing to automate mundane, repetitive, and dangerous tasks that need to be done in a precise way.
Benefits of Having Robots as a Service
Before this type of service existed, companies faced the high costs of having robots. It isn’t only about acquiring them. Robots need maintenance, integration to a network, and calibrating them correctly for specific tasks. All of these are now provided by a third party when subscribing to robotic services.
Companies can hire the robot capacity they need without worrying about specific technological know-how. Even better, companies can easily scale up or down when necessary, helping all sorts of businesses adapt to changing market conditions. This is possible thanks to the flexibility of RaaS. Robots’ software can be updated and monitored with ease. Through the cloud, robot service providers can deploy new units and change existing configurations based on real-time data and Machine Learning algorithms.
Having robotics as a service has some of the following advantages:
- Automate repetitive tasks.
- Cheaper than buying robots.
- Operational tasks are delegated to a third party.
- Robots are integrated through the cloud.
- Operational excellence.
- Collect valuable data through robots.
- Implement powerful ML features.
- Reallocate low-value labor costs to more valuable tasks.
- High precision for demanding tasks.
For many, RaaS is a combination of the following:
Internet of Things (IoT)
Robotic devices usually operate on an IoT industrial platform. In other words, they have the potential to act as any other IoT device that is connected through the Internet, allowing companies to have access to real-time information and monitor processes. Additionally, having an IoT network set up for a robotic system helps users have control over robots through IoT friendly devices like mobile phones. Thanks to powerful IoT apps, employees can keep track of robot-driven processes.
Cyber-physical System (CPS)
In a Cyber-physical System, software and physical components interact with each other. Robots are controlled through software that is easily modifiable through cloud computing. In some cases, users can even control them directly. There is no best way to use robots, as each business requirement may be different. The important thing is that companies understand that robots are a connection between algorithms, or the world of bytes, and their business processes, or the physical world.
Autonomous Decentralized System (ADS)
One key characteristic of robots is that they can operate autonomously, but at the same time, they can interact with one another and their surroundings. This makes it possible to design complex interactions between robots and their environment.
Thanks to easy to use cloud technologies, robots can be operated from a distance and with all the benefits of wireless technology. This, ironically, is usually the main obstacle many companies face in terms of implementing any digital transformation process. The best alternative for companies who wish to implement cloud technologies is to find a reliable DevOps service provider who can guide them through each step of the process.
Final Thoughts on RaaS
Having robots perform certain tasks is not a thing of the future. It is already happening, and small and medium sized companies are starting to take notice. It won’t be long before this technology becomes a standard practice for many industries.
Companies that wish to implement robotic technologies must first make sure that a solid technological infrastructure is in place. Not doing so will surely result in problems at the moment of implementing robot-driven automated systems.
To configure the right infrastructure for a successful robot operation, it is recommended that companies reach out to experts on the subject. Failing to do so may result in inadequate computer systems that may become obsolete soon, bringing legacy problems with them.