Rewired: Six Emerging Trends in Robotics and Automation

Manufacturing Global takes a look at the six emerging trends in robotics and automation outlined by Rewired

“Enabling the global AI economy through the next generation of smart robotics,” Rewired is a venture studio focused on robotics and humanitarianism. The venture invests in applied science and technology that can power the new economy, while doing good for society. 

In this list we break down the six emerging trends in robotics and automation outlined by Rewired.

06: Data driven business intelligence

Now more than ever, businesses are understanding data’s vital role in an organisation's operations. When used effectively, data can be harnessed for inventory tracking, real-time production, predictive analytics, in-line quality testing, and real-time adaptation to shifting demands to name a few.

“This is precipitating a huge shift toward associated data-led services as providers are able to offer significant business intelligence to customers by first synthesising all this data and then helping customers to visualise and understand their own data streams,” Rewired. 

05: Better Jobs and Up-Skilling

“One of the societal benefits of robotics is that many dirty, dull, and dangerous roles are being phased out.  Now statistics show that an even higher number of new positions are being created in the process, mitigating the notion that jobs are being ‘lost’ to automation,” said Rewired.

The use of automation in these settings are providing employees with new opportunities, and companies a way to more efficiently harness their workforce by replacing high-risk or repetitive tasks with automation.

“Automation is also contributing to more cooperation between humans and machines. The challenge is in helping to retrain and upskill workers to interact with these new machines,” added Rewired.

04: Robots-as-a-Service (RaaS)

“A major barrier to the adoption of robotics and automation, in particular by small and medium enterprises, has been the traditional business model within the robotics space, which was purely CapEx play,” explains Rewired. 

However, the days of needing to pay hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars upfront are coming to an end. Rewired is seeing a shift from the CapEx model to offering a robots-as-a-service (RaaS) business model. 

“Pay-as-you-go plans allow customers to fund their automation needs with zero upfront capital commitment. This new RaaS ‘$0 down with zero risk’ value proposition is fuelling the adoption of robotics and automation by medium enterprises (see above) and is becoming more widespread,” added Rewired.

03: Building More Capable and Intelligent Machines

While traditional industrial robots are designed to handle repetitive tasks on the factory floor, as last mile automation challenges rise, manufacturers are needing robots with “higher cognitive skills, greater dexterity and more autonomy,” says Rewired.

“To achieve more capable machines requires a combination of technologies including machine vision, AI, cloud computing, edge computing, 5G, sensors, and industry 4.0 hardware.”

02: Last Mile Automation

Common labour intensive tasks in a factory are the ones that are typically also hard to automate. In order to do so, manufacturers have required non-traditional automations and/or robotics. “This ‘last mile’ automation within the factory is a multi-billion-dollar market which remains largely untapped,” says Rewired. By harnessing cobots, AI and other new platforms, “solving the last mile automation challenge has now become a core focus within the robotics industry."

01: Faster Paced Adoption from Medium Sized Enterprises

A frequent barrier for the adoption of automation and robotics is the cost to implement. While the benefits of the technology are understood in theory, Rewired highlights that the majority of enterprises are just too small to make the investments required. 

“But the accelerated change being driven by the 2020-21 pandemic are now causing medium businesses to revisit their calculus.  Robotics and automation can yield permanent efficiencies and can support business continuity through challenging times.  And a move toward [Robots-as-a-Service (RaaS)] is vastly reducing the upfront costs of adoption,” said Rewired.

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