Machinery : Industrial Robot : Machine Tending
RIOS develops and deploys dexterous AI-powered robots to factory assembly lines and warehouses to help global customers automate their supply chain or logistics operations. We’ve developed a first-of-its-kind haptic intelligence platform for robots – this enables our robot to handle hard-to-automate tasks that typically require human-level-dexterity and involve manipulating thousands of SKUs. Our robots possess higher levels of dexterity, cognitive skills, and autonomy than today’s robots and operate in unstructured environments.
Automation: Why software is the star
As fulfillment centers and warehouses become more highly automated facilities with multiple types of automation, software’s role looms larger. Issues like coordinating multiple systems around cut-off times and service levels, as well as knowing when and how to scale automated systems to accommodate peaks in demand, are two leading reasons why.
One way a warehouse execution system (WES) coordinates the allocation of work across automated systems is with smart order release, which instead of the big “waves” of work, releases work to systems in smaller chunks with the current status and capacity of multiple zones of automation in mind. This order release function can be thought of as the starting point for orchestration, with WES’s ties to lower-level control systems alerting of any unexpected events, or bottlenecks, that might be developing, with some software offering “load balancing” features to help adjust to the present reality on the floor.
With robotics solutions, software plays at multiple levels. Autonomous mobile robot (AMR) vendors, for example, don’t just make robots, they also offer fleet manager software, performance monitoring and analytics. Some vendors are also expanding into broader orchestration with functions like pack-out lines. Of course, artificial intelligence (AI) is in many robotics solutions, so the system can continuously learn over time when it comes to issues like path optimization, or how to best grasp and manipulate items.
Rios, a startup developing robots that can grasp objects, has raised $28M
Rios today announced that it raised $28 million in a series A funding round led by Main Sequence with participation from Yamaha Motor Ventures, Orbit Venture Partners, Hypertherm Ventures, Morpheus Ventures, Grit Ventures, Valley Capital Partners, and others, bringing the startup’s total raised to more than $33 million.
Founded in 2018 by former Xerox PARC engineers CEO Bernard Casse, Christopher Lalau-Keraly, Christopher Paulson, Clinton Smith, and Matthew Shaffer, San Francisco, California-based Rios develops and deploys robots to factory assembly lines and warehouses to automate supply chain and logistics operations. As a business, the company provides what it calls “factory automation-as-a-service” for brands across manufacturing, food services, agriculture, and biochemical, offering a subscription-based product to mechanize individual manufacturing lines.
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.
RIOS Secures $5M in Venture Funding
RIOS, developer of dexterous AI-powered robots for automating assembly lines, came out of stealth mode today and announced it has raised $5 million in venture funding. RIOS, which spun out of Stanford University and was founded by former Xerox PARC engineers, helps global customers automate their factories, warehouses, and supply chain operations by deploying a new class of highly-dexterous robots that handle hard-to-automate tasks in unstructured environments. RIOS not only automates individual lines, but also builds “lights out” factories by partnering with its network of systems integrators.