Robots have moved off the assembly line and into warehouses, offices, hospitals, retail shops, and even our homes. ZDNet explores how the explosive growth in robotics is affecting specific industries, like healthcare and logistics, and the enterprise more broadly on issues like hiring and workplace safety. Amazon Web Services is expanding into robot fleet management with a cloud service based on Amazon's experience managing 350,000 robots in its fulfillment centers. The company at its re:Invent conference launched AWS IoT RoboRunner, a robotics service designed to enable enterprises to build and deploy applications so robots operate well together. AWS IoT RoboRunner is another part of the cloud provider's robotics stack.
Back in July, I wrote about how Amazon Robotics is using AWS to build the next generation of robots in our warehouses. In that post, I shared how even the most seemingly mundane aspects of a system are crucial to achieving fully functional robots as opposed to just automation. "In the coming years, we will see a rapid evolution of robotic capabilities, reliability, and safety, all driven by the seamless integration of emerging technologies, cloud, and newly connected hardware." Now, the reality is that this isn't so much of a prediction as it as an observation of what's already happening all around us. Robots are becoming more and more commonplace in our world, playing roles in everything from performing surgery, to cleaning the floor, to teaching young children.
Robotics, once a fractured field of scrappy tech startups, is starting to come of age. The latest proof is a set of interoperability standards that will allow Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) from leading vendors to integrate and work together in settings like factories, warehouses, and ecommerce fulfillment centers. The best telepresence hardware to go beyond video conferencing and make remote work truly collaborative. MassRobotics, an independent non-profit, recently released the MassRobotics Interoperability Standard to allow units from competing automation marques to seamlessly interact. Initial participating vendors include Vecna Robotics, 6 River Systems, Waypoint Robotics, Locus Robotics, Seegrid, MiR, Autoguide Mobile Robots, Third Wave Automation, and Open Robotics Foundation, all leaders in the AMR space.
The robotics industry continues to grow as enterprises look to automate an increasing number of processes across their organizations. According to McKinsey, 88% of businesses plan to fold robotics automation into their infrastructure in the coming months. And companies based in North America ordered more than 31,000 robotics systems in 2020, bringing the industry's revenue to an estimated over $1.5 billion -- a testament to the segment's strength. There's a legitimate fear that robots could replace some of the work done by humans. A recent MIT study found that each robot added to the workforce has the effect of replacing 3.3 jobs, while Oxford Economics anticipates that robots will displace 20 million manufacturing jobs by 2030. On the other hand, robots could work -- and are working -- together with humans to solve complex problems.
NEW YORK, July 08, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Cowen Inc. (COWN) ("Cowen" or the "Company") and MassRobotics today announced a collaboration to bring together their extensive market knowledge to advance research into the emerging robotics and artificial intelligence industry. Based in the Boston area, MassRobotics is a global hub for robotics, and the collective work of a group of engineers, rocket scientists, and entrepreneurs focused on the needs of the robotics community. "The robotics and artificial intelligence industry is a rapidly expanding market, and one that will define the advancement of manufacturing and services on a global basis. We are thrilled to be partnering with such an innovative collective in MassRobotics, which was established through a shared vision of advancing the robotics industry," said Jeffrey M. Solomon, Chief Executive Officer of Cowen. "Cowen has dedicated substantial time into the research of robotics and AI and we look forward to sharing our knowledge and capital markets expertise to support the emerging growth companies associated with MassRobotics."