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Why Robots as a Service is the New Business Model

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Robots as a Service is growing rapidly and gaining acceptance all over the world. Let’s take a look at the emerging concept of RaaS…

The concept of Robots as a Service (RaaS) is gaining popularity, growing rapidly and gaining acceptance all over the world. In the enterprise, robots have often been leveraged to streamline manufacturing. Giant organizations with ominous, global, megacorp-sounding names like FANUC and ABB provide solutions that require hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of investment dollars just to get started. According to Allied Market Research, the RaaS market is estimated to grow to nearly $34.7 billion worldwide in the next three years and is growing at a fast clip — nearly 23% CAGR.

One major factor driving this change is how dramatically globalization has reduced hardware production costs and capabilities. At the same time, cheap and powerful computing and cloud infrastructure are now also readily available and easy to spin up. As a result, vertical-specific, robotic-powered, solutions can today be offered as variable cost services versus being sold at a fixed cost.

The Concept
RaaS providers offer robots as a service to an organisation for managing repetitive and mundane and dangerous tasks. Usually, robots are deployed to perform repetitive and mundane tasks which are typically done by humans working on lower pay. Since deploying robots could be quite expensive, organizations face challenges in terms of return on investment. Hence organizations shy away from investing in robots. This is where the concept of RaaS models today are wooing organizations by enabling them to scale up and down easily in response to changing market conditions and client needs. Additionally, the investment becomes easier due to affordable costs and less upfront capital.

Benefits
The key benefits of RaaS is that organisations can access services through a cloud-based subscription. This means they can now shift their CAPital EXpenditure (CAPEX) to an OPerational EXpenditure (OPEX), which allows them to deploy solutions without making huge advance payments.

Organizations can sign up and find powerful and cheap cloud computing solutions that allow robots to be offered as a variable cost service with subscription packages. Several organizations from various section in the Industry are benefitting from RaaS, as it lowers the barrier to entry for them to test them out and experiment with robotic solutions.

Real-Time Implementation
Robots are making an impact in several sectors. Listed here are just a few of the organizations developing tools to enable RaaS on a large scale and the ways it can be used:

Google’s Cloud Robotics Core, which is an open-source platform provides the necessary infrastructure for building and running robotics solutions for business automation. AWS RoboMaker, makes it easy to develop, test, and deploy intelligent robotics applications at scale. The Honda RaaS provides interfaces and packages as APIs and SDKs for common functions, such as collecting and sharing data, controlling communication, changing states, and robotic cooperation.

With Microsoft Robot Operating System (ROS) for Windows, developers will be able to use toolsets along with Artificial Intelligence and cloud features for programming skilled robots. Microsoft is trying to bring “intelligent edge to robotics by bringing advanced features like hardware-accelerated Windows Machine Learning, computer vision, Azure Cognitive Services, and Azure IoT cloud services to home, education, commercial, and industrial robots.”

The Road Ahead
RaaS is poised to disrupt many other markets. RaaS may not suit the requirements for every manufacturer. However, there are ways to reap the benefits of this business model, while ensuring they have complete ownership of the machines operating in their facilities.

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