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As robots become more embedded in the workplace and society while the cost of producing them dwindles, more companies are looking into joining the field and industry of robotics by creating innovations of their own.
In no particular order, here are the top 10 companies that are innovating robotics this 2023 across varying categories, fields, and applications.
When it comes to service robots, Formic is at the top of the list. Despite launching just in August 2021, Formic is shaping up the robots service industry with a diverse product line of robots that can cater to welding, case packing, and injection molding.
To fast-track its R&D and deployment of service robots, Formic has a business-model innovation that will allow customers to rent by the hour and charge only for its performance. Similarly, Formic has a Formic Flex system where manufacturers can subscribe to Formic’s’ robotic system by the hour with the option to swap offerings depending on their needs.
The best part is, there is no additional cost should there be any changes. Such a business model and system allowed Formic to grow 10x year-over-year and help in the growth of service robots.
It comes as no one’s surprise that an automobile company would make it to the list. With Mercedes-Benz’s Drive Pilot System, which makes use of an autonomous-driving system, the company has made its way into the list of companies innovating the field of robotics.
This robotic system allows drivers to take their eyes off the road and hands off the wheel as level 3 S-Class and EQS electric vehicles can fully drive on their own while traveling under 40 mph. Provided that the designated roads have been mapped in high definition for safety.
Seeking to innovate further, Mercedes-Benz is looking at self-automating cars that can park without human aid.
Tech company Anduril is using its expertise in innovating the field of robotics when it comes to military applications. Anduril is becoming a viable go-to company for creating defense systems with the help of robotics, and the government contractors seem to agree so.
Anduril’s Lattice software has been granted a patent in August 2022 to help detect, classify, monitor, and ultimately notify operators of any drones that may collide. With the help of Anduril’s tech and robotics system, it has created a counter-drone system for U.S. Special Operations Command.
Proving such potential, the tech company has been granted a $968 million contract from the Department of Defense in January 2022.
To branch out and innovate further, Anduril acquired Dive Technologies to help create “Ghost Shark”, which is a robot device that can go 6,000 meters deep in the ocean for autonomous missions. The company has also been granted $1.5 billion to build an autonomous-capable Fighting Vehicle for the U.S. Army.
Certainly, Anduril is one tech company that’s proving that robotics can help the military in ways that go beyond robot dogs.
Seoul Robotics is a company that has been working on not only innovating the future but also present times by making current vehicles smarter with their tech.
Using robotics, the company is embedding sensing and computing into existing vehicles and infrastructures to create one mesh network. This will help Seoul’s Level 5 Control Tower compute technology and sensors from infrastructures such as traffic lights and roadside buildings to vehicles.
Such work has helped Seoul Robotics raise $25 million to finance its vision for “autonomy through infrastructure”.
Delivery robots are quickly becoming a normal sight to see, especially on University campuses. Although, not many robots nor companies last long in this venture except Starship Technologies.
The tech company has managed to complete four million deliveries in 2022 — an impressive achievement considering that they only started rolling out their six-wheeled app-unlocked delivery robots in the same year.
To make matters more interesting, Starship Technologies’ delivery robots can also verify if the customer is of legal age should the delivery be an alcoholic beverage. Since then, the tech company has partnered with Grubhub to complete more food deliveries across campus and possibly beyond that.
When it comes to infrastructure inspection, there comes a limit for humans and robots alike. Certain infrastructures may be too high up or dangerous for humans to inspect while most robots can only go far as capturing images.
Voliro’s infrastructure-inspecting drones, however, prove us wrong as they can both look at and touch facilities from storage tanks to wind turbines without breaking a sweat. Voliro has partnered with U.S.-based Constellation Clearsight to inspect the structural integrity of power plants in America.
Another company that made the list in terms of service robots in the warehouse is Otto Motors.
A common problem faced by many employers of service warehouse robots is AI machines’ inability to clear a pathway right away while transporting pallets. However, Otto Motors released the Otto Lifter in 2022, which is essentially a self-driving forklift that can create dynamic path planning, pallet detection, and lane tending while lifting up to 2,640 pounds of load.
It also has the ability to go as high as two and a half feet even while in autonomous mode. Said robot machinery has helped pave the way for efficiency, safety, and productivity for warehouse work and services.
Inspired by the ant colony, the Attabotic company has invented a way for robots to pick, place, and move the load in three dimensions. This innovation in automating warehouses to fit robots in a more compact and vertical structure allowed for larger and heavier bins to be fulfilled in tight spaces.
It’s smart-saving and working at the same time, which lead to the company winning a contract with the Department of Defense to create a system that will help the Marine Corps Logistics Command be more efficient in their warehouse.
Robots and sports are not a new combination. We have robots that have made history after completing a 5k run and robots that have participated in the World Cup.
In this regard, Turf Tank created a robot that can accurately and swiftly create lines and standard layouts in fields. The robotic line-marker paint machine has eliminated the need for humans to manually measure fields and stadiums, which would otherwise take a long time, not to mention cut down on environmental and paint waste when the traditional buggies are used.
If robots are taking over anything, it would be lawn maintenance and landscaping. RC Mowers has created remote-controlled commercial robot mowers to maintain highway medians, golf courses, and parks.
These robots are designed to help assist human landscapers to maintain fields and even muddy terrains to their pristine conditions. Although these mowers cost a whopping $65,000, it is said that these robots have helped gain a 300% productivity boost for landscapers, which effectively helps in the innovation of that category.
Certainly, there’s a lot to be excited about in the field of robotics. With these companies and more spearheading the innovation and improvement of robots, we can only look forward to how else these smart machines can help assist society in various fields and sectors.
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