Introducing Formant Capture

A man holding a cell phone that displays a live video feed, demonstrating using robot field ops via his phone.

Collaborate with your field operator on a whole new level with streaming video directly from the field – using nothing but a simple, secure link. Along with all the other telemetry and video data from your robot, Formant Capture helps your team tackle issues, gain insights, and document events of interest for immediate review or auditing at a later date.

Formant’s platform already lets you monitor a robot’s status by way of live sensor feeds — offering observability of the robot’s health and performance via numerous data sources, such as images, videos, logs, telemetry, and metrics from many other sensor types. But, even with all that data readily available, sometimes you simply can’t replace the power of an operator’s eyes in the field.

Sometimes, the sensor data that a robot is transmitting may not paint an entirely accurate picture of the situation at hand; and sometimes, the sensor data is outright incorrect. Many times these situations require an on-site field operator to be physically present to understand and resolve the issue at hand.

To illustrate these ideas, let’s imagine you have a robot that has recently experienced a minor collision with something in its environment. Though the little bump went unnoticed by the operator, it resulted in subtle changes to a camera’s extrinsic calibration. As these changes lead to cascading errors and issues, a remote operator would likely be at a loss as to what happened by simply analyzing video data. Similarly, although a field operator might be physically present near the robot, she might need additional feedback based on all the other internal telemetry, health and video data originating in the robot in order to establish a timely root-cause.

A diagram explaining how the Formant Capture feature works

Formant Capture enables an operator to live stream data to the cloud alongside the machine’s on-board cameras; simultaneously observing both streams within your existing real-time observability dashboards. All this can be initiated with nothing more than a simple, secure link issued by support staff and sent to the field operator. No need for software downloads, account creation, or log in.

Your observability platform can now be seamlessly augmented with ad hoc feeds from anywhere in the world, thus allowing support staff to view the same content and context as a field operator, in real-time. In this way, Capture enables faster, more collaborative communication and issue resolution between support personnel and field operators —effectively turning two distinct teams into one.

Who benefits from this feature?

Formant provides an extremely simple way for your field operations team to capture data in the field. Your team members or external contractors can use their iOS, Android, or laptop devices to stream data from the field. Meanwhile Capture allows your team to associate this field-acquired data with vital metadata, such as job ID or customer ID.

  • Field operators can easily collect and stream data to the same dashboards that display live fleet telemetry. You now also have the choice to give an operator time-limited access to capture data of interest without giving them a Formant account or any additional privileges.
  • Engineers working remotely can use a mobile phone to stream Capture data directly into their observability view to help with observing and debugging their robot remotely.

The Brass Tacks Benefits 

  • Faster root cause analysis by being able to “look through the eyes” of the field operator and the robot both simultaneously, and in a single frame.
  • Improved collaboration between your company’s support personnel and field operations teams.
  • Lower downtime thanks to faster problem resolution means increased productivity, for both you and your robots.
  • Lower operating costs by reducing on-site and field visits by engineers and support staff. Train operators without monopolizing expensive and limited robot time.
  • Improved training – Extend and improve your support and engineering training processes. Provide a comprehensive, highly-visual teaching aid through which trainees can better understand the robot, its environment, and their interplay without having to go onsite.
  • Audit – Streaming video data is automatically timestamped and logged alongside all your other data to make after-the-fact auditing a snap.

Explore our data ops platform

Superior observability, operations, and analytics of heterogenous fleets, at scale.

Explore our data ops platform

Superior observability, operations, and analytics of heterogenous fleets, at scale.