Robotics-as-a Service: What is It and Why It is Gaining Hype Now?

Robotics-as-a-Service

Robotics-as-a-Service

Understanding the RaaS, its significance in today’s scenario and growth factors.

Similar to other as-a-service concepts like software-as-a-service (SaaS), infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS), robotics-as-a-service (RaaS) refers to democratize the robot installations. It combines the likes of artificial intelligence, cloud computing and shared services. It takes the capabilities of robotics and eliminates the upfront cost of expensive automation upgrades. RaaS allows businesses to no need of buying an integrated solution, rather they can lease the robotic device as a cloud-based service.

This robotic rental system gives the ability to users to integrate the capabilities they seek when they need them, upgrade or downgrade systems as requirements change, and install robotics without requiring any essential infrastructure compared to traditional robotics implementations. Robotics as a service also offers flexibility in the purchasing process, assisting buyers to maintain their bottom line.

In general, RaaS evades the ownership headaches, such as paying off expensive equipment and handling maintenance issues.

 

Why is So Much Hype Around RaaS?

Robotics-as-a-service offers flexibility, scalability, and lower cost of entry for the implementation of robots than traditional robotics programs. These traits are created more interest in businesses’ robotics initiatives, enabling them to get benefits of robotics technology without any cost-prohibitive initial investment.

As the RaaS concept is gaining popularity at an unprecedented rate, an ABI Research estimation shows that the installed base for robotics-as-a-service will grow from 4,442 units in 2016 to 1.3 million in 2026, generating US$34 billion in revenue.

RaaS is available for business in two different ways – robotics as a cloud service and robots on rental. With robotics as a cloud service, businesses can store data where data are collected by robots in the cloud. In this service model, robots across various locations are connected to the cloud. The data captured by the robots can be stacked, centrally stored on cloud-based systems that can be accessed anytime. Although this process ensures that the data and the process flow do not disrupt the existing businesses, it adds more value to organizations helping in performing different tasks.

The concept of robotics-as-a-service is quickly gaining ground in manufacturing. German-based industrial robotics firm Kuka, for instance, which was acquired by Chinese consumer products manufacturer Midea in 2016, recently announced the launch of a new SmartFactory as a Service initiative. This is revolutionary cooperation from MHP, KUKA and Munich Re to create space for new ideas.

Since globalization has minimized the cost of hardware, it has become easier to sign up and find powerful and cost-effective cloud computing solutions that allow robots to be offered as a variable cost service with subscription packages. Already, many companies are comfortable with this business model credited to their usage of the software as a service model. For example, Google built the Google Cloud Robotics Platform that combines AI, the cloud and robotics to enable an open ecosystem of automation solutions that use cloud-connected collaborative robots.

Moreover, as robotics technology evolves over time, the accessibility of robots will become easier and robotics-as-a-service will play the utmost critical role in it.