Robotization of manufacturing operations is the next step towards industrial revolution. Robots can operate heavy or complex tasks, small chores, and risky operations according to your commands with the press of a button. The prospects of this idea would interest many, but then reality will hit, and one may ask, “Is this really possible using today’s technology?”
For robots to function autonomously or even perform smaller tasks, thousands or even more complicated code lines need to be developed. In such circumstances, it is more likely that people opinionate that robotics-based automation is a complicated road to walk on. Though this is the case, robotic automation can transform every industry and take production scales to the next level.
Several big and small corporations have already started employing robots to automate their daily operations. The difficulty arises when there is a need to upgrade robots’ software to meet the updated hardware requirements. The re-coding of such upgrades could take days or months to complete. During which the work could get strangled or slowed down. Solving these challenges is the Augmentus Pte Ltd.
The idea of Augmentus came to Daryl Lim You Quan (Co-founder) and his co-founder colleagues from their personal experiences and pain points. Before Augmentus, they led teams to develop robotics solutions for multi-national companies. They had to invest incalculable hours in programming and integrating different robots and equipment deployed for commercial projects. It encouraged them to build an intuitive, graphical robotics platform that simplifies and unifies the development and operation of industrial robots.
Optimizing Industrial Robots in Minutes
Augmentus is an AI-robotics software company. It offers the first fully autonomous digital twin creation and robot motion planning system. The platform’s simplicity enables even non-technical users to program industrial robots in minutes instead of months.
The platform’s intuitive graphical interface and proprietary technology eliminates the need for coding and CAD files in robot teaching. Users can 3D scan their work cells, plot robot waypoints, or select from a library of templates. And, Augmentus’s software promises to generate the most optimized robot paths while checking for singularity, reachability, and collision avoidance.
Over the years, the company has formed partnerships with the world’s leading robot manufacturers and automation providers to empower manufacturers to recoup ROI faster by lowering the time, cost, and skill barriers in industrial automation. Its clients have already experienced a 70% cost reduction and a 10x increase in deployment times across a wide variety of industrial applications.
Solving the Challenges of Industrial Robotics
Programming robots to perform specific tasks requires massive amounts of code and programmers with very specific, in-demand skill sets. With the severe difficulty and heavy fragmentation present in conventional robot programming, different robot manufacturers require the use their respective proprietary languages and require high coding expertise.
As the existing automation processes require system integrators to develop custom solutions due to the fragmented modules, there is 75% of the lifetime costs of each robot being software and programming related. This problem is further exacerbated in high-mix workflows where the component part or process changes frequently, requiring repeated robot reprogramming and teaching.
In order to solve this perennial problem, the use of AI and smart automation is crucial and intelligence in automation solutions is needed to dynamically adjust to rapid changes in production processes and part to part variation. “We use such technologies in our platform where the system is able to quickly adapt to changes in parts and processes through 3D scanning while our proprietary technologies around auto-calibration and auto-path generation instantaneously generates robot programming without the need for technical expertise,” says Daryl.
Conquering The COVID-19 Challenge
COVID-19 presented several key challenges for the Augmentus team. Daryl expresses, “As a robotics company, we needed to do site demos and integrations. Safe distancing restrictions have increased our lead times. To ensure the safety of our employees, we have converted 80% of our demos and integrations to virtual, drastically reducing the risk of contagion.”
The Future of The Automation Industry
The future of automation will be more focused on flexibility and collaboration. There has been an increasing trend towards soft automation, with more SMEs and MNCs having high-mix workflows that require automation. Such changes in processes have always been a shortcoming of conventional automation that is more suited to low-mix, high-volume operations. When we asked Daryl about the automation industry’s post-pandemic future, he answered, “With advances in technologies around AI and robotics, a new paradigm shift in automation is likely to ensue in the coming years, enabling the mass adoption of robotics and automation globally.”
Showing the Way to Budding Entrepreneurs
Working in the robotics industry for years, Daryl has personally conquered so many challenges that occurred while making robots. When asked about what advice he would like to give to aspirants in the robotics industry, he puts, “The most important thing for budding entrepreneurs is to deeply understand and empathize with their target audience. This will allow your team to identify a niche and build a go-to-market strategy around that niche.”
“There are many problems around the world, and with limited resources and time, it is important to be focused and have a clear direction,” concludes Daryl
Plans of Expansion for 2022 and Beyond
Augmentus has wide-ranging plans for scaling its operations in different parts of the world, commenting on the progress of expanding its reach in coming years. Daryl said, “We have scaled beyond Singapore and have begun deploying in countries such as Germany, Denmark, Japan, and the USA.”
“We are doubling down on global expansions in 2022 with remote teams to support the increasing demand for easy and rapid automation,” he added.