Software : Operational Technology : Industrial Robot
Realtime Robotics was founded with the goal of transforming how robots and autonomous vehicles move. Realtime Robotics has continued to transform automation, with products that provide trailblazing features such as risk-aware driving, high-productivity multi-robot workcells and automated robot vision that continuously calibrates itself.
Can Realtime Robotics’ RapidPlan Software Break Through Industrial Automation’s Slow Progress?
Despite continuous advances in the field of robotics, complex motion through space still presents a stumbling block for bots. In oftentimes hectic industrial settings, complex motion that entails a robot getting from point A to point B to perform a task is a feat that generally involves weeks to months of programming time, resulting in movement that’s relatively slow and collision-prone. It’s a challenge that George Konidaris, cofounder and chief roboticist of Realtime Robotics, says has been a persistent hurdle for robotics researchers since 1979—and he thinks RapidPlan represents a significant leap of progress.
Part of the software’s promise is enabling robots to more quickly determine the best path of movement in dynamic environments like factories, which Konidaris says so far hasn’t been accomplished. Software users start with RapidPlan Create, which guides them through the robotic programming phase. Then RapidPlan Control runs the robots’ operations.
Data from Realtime indicates that the software can reduce programming time by 70-80 percent, increase throughput rate by 10-30 percent and decrease a bot’s life cycle cost by up to 50 percent.
Realtime Robotics enhances responsive workcell monitoring by reading CAD files with CAD Exchanger
It was Realtime Robotics who managed to fuse all the latest technological achievements and academic research and to elaborate a specialized toolkit for on-the-fly motion planning. “Realtime Robotics has created technology that solves a 30-year-old challenge in the robotics industry. Our motion planning solution allows industrial automation to move collision-free and respond to obstacles in real time,” says Will Floyd-Jones, Co-Founder & Robotics Engineer in Realtime Robotics.
The initial plan to cobble together various libraries was no longer relevant when Realtime Robotic stumbled upon CAD Exchanger. “We would have to hack a bunch of things together and try to figure out how to get them to import data in one common way. And then we discovered that CAD Exchanger has already solved the problem and would just do that for us,” explains Will Floyd-Jones, Co-Founder & Robotics Engineer in Realtime Robotics.
Realtime Robotics Completes $31.4 Million Series A Funding Round
Realtime Robotics plans on applying the new funds to accelerating its product rollouts and continuing its investment in innovative enhancements and solutions. The company will deepen its reach in the warehouse automation industry, while continuing to serve global automotive manufacturers and their supply chain. Working closely with long term partners and customers, Realtime will also continue to perfect its “holy grail” collaborative system, which incorporates its proprietary real-time planning technology with other certified system components to enable industrial robots to proactively adapt their motions and avoid unwanted contact with humans, while continuously accomplishing their intended tasks.
Start-ups Powering New Era of Industrial Robotics
Much of the bottleneck to achieving automation in manufacturing relates to limitations in the current programming model of industrial robotics. Programming is done in languages proprietary to each robotic hardware OEM – languages “straight from the 80s” as one industry executive put it.
There are a limited number of specialists who are proficient in these languages. Given the rarity of the expertise involved, as well as the time it takes to program a robot, robotics application development typically costs three times as much as the hardware for a given installation.