Meet the company making industrial robotics simple, efficient, affordable … and fun!
Industrial automation is happening at an accelerated pace. As the current pandemic places severe strains on global supply chains and production, manufacturers are looking to automation technologies — artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics — as solutions to come back online and remain competitive in a fast-moving, dynamic competitive landscape.
We do not yet know how industrial automation will play out. There is a future where service robots fully replace all human manual labor. There is a future where robots remain limited to highly repetitive or dangerous tasks where human labor doesn’t make sense.
And there’s a future in between, where factory workers become robotic system experts, where people and robots — like people and computers — work together to increase human potential and the value of our work.
This is the future READY Robotics is building, and this future is why Micron recently invested in READY Robotics through our AI fund.
READY creates an operating system for robotics arms
READY Robotics doesn’t build robots; it develops the software and user interfaces that control robots.
Before READY, each robot manufacturer provided its own software and controls — there was no standard, so programming languages and controls varied widely among the different manufacturers, and programming/reprogramming robotic tasks required years of technical training and skill.
Before READY, reprogramming a robotic arm on a factory floor took weeks and thousands of dollars in specialist expenses. With READY, reprogramming arms takes minutes and is done by the people right there on the factory floor.
Why does this matter?
In its recent white paper, READY describes its deployment to Alicat Scientific, a manufacturer of components for medical ventilators. With READY, Alicat saw these benefits:
- Zero on-site assistance from READY Robotics
- Full automation setup in less than three days
- A 74% boost in output on a task that would have been a chokepoint
- Full return on investment in less than 30 days
This is the promise of industrial robotics. However, the real value of READY Robotics is more subtle. According to Greg Camron, machine shop manager at Alicat Scientific, “From unboxing to training and setup, this was one of the easiest operations I’ve ever experienced in the world of machining. More than that, our machinists actually found it fun!”
Robotic arms made easy … and fun?
High-quality, logical, easy-to-use operating systems were the key to unlocking the value of personal computers and smartphones. So too with READY. From the company’s extensive technology library of automated robotic motions in a co-working environment to graphic user interface-based programming and logical flow development, READY makes it simple and easy for anyone — whether well-trained experts or first-time users — to program, set up and maintain robotic systems. READY’s technology is built from the ground up to be easy and safe to use, as well as to address interoperability and programming knowledge issues that are current chokepoints for plant managers.
But how can we say it’s fun?
Ben Gibbs, CEO of READY, explains it like this: “We give users an intuitive experience for controlling not only the robot arms, but all the tools needed to automate a task, all through a simple interface. This enables users to focus on what matters: getting the robot performing a task, rather than stressing about the low-level hardware integration usually required when setting up a system.”
Robots and memory will transform automation
The pandemic has affected manufacturing around the world. We don’t know what the future will look like, but we believe solutions like READY Robotics’ are essential for both restarting production and increasing domestic manufacturing competitiveness.
Micron invested in READY Robotics in part to better understand the robotic system requirements and computational workloads. Together with READY Robotics and other industrial partners, Micron is exploring new technology solutions — from our traditional memory and storage solutions to emerging artificial intelligence solutions — to make robotic computational workloads run faster and more efficiently, delivering higher value to our end customers.
If you’re interested in learning more about READY Robotics or other ways Micron can assist in your industrial automation transformation, we’d love to hear from you.
Amit Gattani — Sr. Director, Segment Marketing, Embedded Business Unit, firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrew Byrnes — Director, Venture Capital, Micron Ventures, email@example.com