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News and blog

Going To Market For RaaS Companies

An excerpt from "What Is Robotics As A Service?",  a practical guide to starting, launching, and scaling a robotics company.  Building a strong go-to-market strategy for RaaS companies can feel like quite the challenge in a competitive environment. In this excerpt from our guide, learn some of the key points to hook your first pilot […]

Formant Now Supports ROS Service Calls, Natively

When operating a robot or a fleet, it's likely you’ll be using ROS in your operations. An integral part of using ROS is service calls; now, we’re excited to announce that ROS service calls are now supported natively on the platform.  Although the action is still completed, manual ROS service calls took extra time, delaying […]

Hardware Considerations For 5G In Robotics

There’s no doubt that 5G is here to stay in the robotics industry. Between high speeds that enable improved bandwidth and latency to greater network coverage, it enables robots to perform better than ever before. But once you’ve decided to upgrade, now comes the next challenge: how do you find the right 5G hardware for […]

How To Fundraise For RaaS Companies

An excerpt from "What Is Robotics As A Service?",  a practical guide to starting, launching, and scaling a robotics company.  Raising money for any new venture can be a long, arduous process, especially when the founders or executive team lack entrepreneurs or leaders with prior successes and exits under their belt. Winning over investors for […]

Best Robotics Conferences to Attend For The Rest Of 2022

In 2022, the robotics industry’s been busy with a strong comeback to in-person events, showing off the major advancements companies have been working on. Although we’re already halfway through the year, there’s still time to attend conferences to learn where robotics is headed and meet with key players in the industry. Check out the top […]

The Evolution of Mobile Robots And What It Means For RaaS

When you think of mobile robots, chances are you picture a wheeled vehicle in a warehouse, shuffling among workers to transport materials from point A to point B. And with good reason. Autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) have taken off recently, particularly in warehouses and logistics, where these intelligent machines are working side by side with […]

Top Robotics Podcasts To Follow

Want to stay updated on the latest happenings in robotics but don’t have time to comb through the news or dig into a book?  Podcasts are an excellent way to keep up on hot topics whether it's during your morning workout on traveling for work. We’ve curated a list of the best robotics podcasts to […]

Creating A Robotics Simulation Pipeline With GitHub Actions And ROS

This post is contributed by Simon Bracegirdle, a Senior Consultant with Mechanical Rock.  Introduction At Mechanical Rock, we are strong believers in the benefits of continuous integration (CI) and continuous deployment (CD) pipelines. CI in particular is useful for running all kinds of validation and checks on your code before and after merging. For example, you […]

6 Standout Robots At Automate 2022

Held in Detroit, Michigan, the Automate 2022 conference didn’t fail to impress as hundreds of North American robotics companies showed off their automation solutions. The Formant team attended to exhibit with the Pittsburgh Robotics Network, but the team made sure to share some of this year’s robots that were shown.    1. FANUC M-2000iA   […]

Canvas + Formant: Data Flexibility For Robotics Companies

When it comes to building a successful robotics company, data is key. Yet, the strategic importance of data and data flexibility is often an afterthought, especially when it comes to building a strong tech stack.   Data affects every department, from operations to engineering, finance, and business. Although each has different needs for data, their reliance […]

Formant + Bitwise Bring Actionable Crop Yield Insights to Farmers

We’re excited to announce our partnership and integration with Bitwise Agronomy. Bitwise is a computer vision company focused on helping farmers improve the yield and profitability of their crops through optimized crop yield insights. Their core product, GreenView, uses machine learning to count and analyze the different growth stages of vines and berries, giving growers […]

How Robotics Companies Actually Use Data (And What We Got Wrong)

As a VP of Engineering at a robotics company, one of the most important things you need to get right is data. Data affects every department, and each one needs it for different reasons. From CFOs trying to understand the operating cost per robot, to operations focused on deployment times and mission achievements, and engineering […]

6 Lessons From ICRA 2022

Hosted in Philadelphia this year, ICRA 2022 welcomed a large crowd- of both humans and robots- and offered an amazing peek into what some of the top robotics companies and researchers are working on.  Whether you couldn’t make it in person or were too busy trying out the robots (we don’t blame you), here’s a […]

How Robots Are Automating Modern Healthcare

Picture this: it’s the middle of the week, and you’d like to get a few symptoms from a previous illness examined by a doctor, so you decide to make an appointment at your local urgent care. You arrive at the hospital and luckily are quickly given a room to be seen, expecting a nurse to […]

5 Takeaways from the Robotics Summit & Expo 2022

Couldn’t make it to RSE 2022, or looking for a quick recap to refresh your memory? Our team wrapped up the key takeaways from this week’s conference to help you bring insights back to your team. We'll include links to slides and session recordings as soon as they are available.   1. Interoperability is top […]

Formant + PagerDuty Accelerates Incident Resolution In Robotics

Formant, the leading provider of robotics data platform, has announced its integration with PagerDuty, the global leader in digital operations management, and also joins PagerDuty’s Integration Partner Program.  Professional service robots are popping up in a variety of environments– farms, sidewalks, warehouses, construction sites, nurseries, and even at the beaches. These new generation robots, unlike […]

Best Robotics Books To Read In 2022

Are you a beginner in robotics but don’t know where to start, or already an expert but looking to brush up on what’s happening in the industry? Check out our curated list of the best robotics books and ebooks to add to your reading list this year.     1. Springer Handbook of Robotics If you’re […]

Redefining The Robot Takeover

The robot takeover is here, but it isn’t the apocalyptic man-versus-machine future that’s been cast by Hollywood and sci-fi literature. In fact, the integration of robots into daily life is likely already happening in society, specifically in workplaces and commercial spaces including warehouses, farms, and even your local hospital. The sci-fi predictions of the last […]

4 Challenges Enterprise Companies Face For Robotics At Scale

When it comes to robotics at scale within large enterprise companies, it can feel as if there is a new challenge coming around every corner.  For many large enterprises, automation is still ramping up and working through testing stages, meaning planning for the future is top priority. It always gives the opportunity to predict certain […]

A Forthcoming Shift for Early-Stage Robotics Companies

In today’s market, reinvention and advanced software are no longer enough to see success. Differentiating a product from the abundant other solutions that exist will take more than simple innovation and a knack for tech, but a broader focus that places emphasis on critical customer needs and viable business models. Solve a Customer Problem Historically, […]

5G For Robotics: Is It Really A Game Changer?

So you’re considering 5G for robotics operations, but not sure of where to start or what the benefits of switching to 5G are? You aren’t alone in those decisions. Since the introduction of 5G in 2019, companies that utilize robots in their everyday operations have been reconsidering their current network solution. For many of these […]

Robotics 24/7 + Formant Webinar: How To Leverage Data To Build Custom Apps

The world of robotics has changed rapidly in the past five years. With the rise of robots-as-a-service and the increasing adoption of robots in new industries, software has become a critical component for the success and growth of robotics companies. This creates both opportunities and new challenges, specifically around creating applications that meet the unique […]

How to Build a Customer-Facing Portal with Formant IAM

In robotics, especially in end-user facing verticals like agriculture, there is a hypercritical need for an immediate return on investment. The focus needs to be on the business value to the customer and not just on the robots. Customers need to be able to view, manage and understand the impact of robots to their user […]

Formant Launches On-Premise to Meet the Growing Needs of Enterprise Companies

At Formant, we’re pretty big believers that data from robotic fleets should be in the cloud. We’ve spent the last few years building world-class, cloud-based data and telemetry solutions for robotic fleets, and we know there’s a massive benefit to robotics companies in having a web-based application to collect and manage that data. That being […]

Announcing Formant’s Series A — and what it means for us in 2022

We’re excited to announce that Formant has raised $18 million in our Series A fundraising round (read more on TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and Robotics 24/7). The round was led by SignalFire, with participation from Hillsven, Pelion, Goodyear Ventures, Thursday Ventures, Ericsson, Picus Capital, and Holman Strategic Ventures. This latest investment round will fuel customer acquisition growth […]

5 Real-World Applications of Quadruped Robots

Quadruped robots have captured the imaginations of many, thanks in large part to Boston Dynamics’ highly-entertaining viral videos featuring their robot, Spot. Despite their fresh moves, robots like Spot weren’t designed just to dance. Legged robots were built with real-world applications in mind, and thanks to recent advancements by the likes of Boston Dynamics, ANYbotics, […]

Formant + PickNik power the best-in-class low-latency interface for advanced arm motion planning

PickNik Robotics and Formant partner to bring cloud-based mobile manipulation to the forefront of robotics.

Solving the challenges of video telemetry for cost effective robot monitoring

The power of video in robot monitoring Understanding the operations of your robots requires more than staring at a wall of telemetry charts. Seeing is understanding. Using our eyes is often necessary to answer the critical questions about how to optimize a device for maximum effectiveness. In particular, video telemetry is a powerful information source […]

Group and categorize your fleet to improve observability

The primary goal of the Formant platform has always been to simplify and streamline fleet observability and management of your robotic devices. To better meet those goals, we are constantly refreshing and refining our platform in a variety of ways, both big and small.    Define and assign your fleet into groups Our latest update […]

Supercharging Formant's hybrid edge/cloud robotics platform with NVIDIA's Jetson

The combination of GPU optimized edge data processing paired with Formant’s observability & teleoperation platform creates a super efficient command and control center right out of the box.

Cut the costs of robotic observability (up to 80%) with on-demand ingestion

By storing one’s observational data on-device and accessing it selectively—rather than passively transferring a constant stream of data to the cloud—businesses can often reduce their cellular data expenditures by upwards of 80%.

The next wave of robotics starts with a dog walk — join us

Today we’re launching a new program called Walk With Spot to help accelerate the development of robotics applications. We’re doing this by giving people from all walks of life (like you) the opportunity to remotely control a Boston Dynamics Spot (robotic dog) from anywhere in the world using a simple web based application.

The four (formidable) phases of robotic cloud development - phase 1

The first of a four-part series designed to help you understand what precisely it means (and what it takes) to get your robot online, keep your robot online, and most of all, grow your robot business.

Every robotics application requires analytics

By making advanced analytics an integral part of your operations from day one, you enable your insights and understanding to scale smoothly with the size of your fleet.

Formant Receives Innovation Award from Robotics Business Review 2020

"With automated analytics and annotated data, Formant’s platform allows humans to work with robots in real time while also having instant access to relevant historical data."

SSH to your robot using Formant’s port forwarding

Learn how our customers connect directly to their robots using the comfortable, widely-used SSH protocol.

Configure your robot application settings remotely

With an intuitive, easy-to-use interface, and a secure backend, you can now configure your on-device applications from anywhere.

Issue the commands you want from anywhere

With such an intuitive and versatile command system at their hands, your operators can gain unparalleled efficiency and control over your organization's fleet. Learn more.

Improvements made possible by network-constrained testing of streaming robot data, part 2

Part 2 of our guide on how to optimize robots in network-constrained environments.

Testing for streaming robot data in network-constrained environments, part 1

Here's a guide to help you avoid one of the most common problems in robot fleet deployment: network connectivity.

10 key considerations when developing your robot's cloud backend

We’ve created the following list of 10 crucial things to keep in mind when developing your cloud-based backend for your robot fleets.

Robot field ops that spark joy

Does the platform you run your robots on spark joy for your team? Your customers? It should. Here's how Formant customers support robots in the field.

Formant is free to all companies that can leverage it in the fight against coronavirus

Formant is offering full access to its platform free of charge to any organization working to fight this pandemic.

Introducing Formant Capture

Collaborate with your field operator on a whole new level with streaming video directly from the field - using nothing but a simple, secure link.

Introducing Formant Deep Linking

The easiest way to create customized, linkable observability views

Automation, employment, & inaction

In the early 1900s, op-ed columns across the U.S. were abuzz with the topic of automation.

The growth ratio: why so many robotics startups fail to scale

Many robotics startups fail to invest in efficiencies and infrastructure that allow them to scale. We dive into that in this post.

Advancing AI to get robots to work with humans

We believe that the future of robotics is one where you have one operator managing hundreds or thousands of robots. With our platform, operators at robotics companies become superhumans.

It's time we put "fleet management" to rest — here's why

The term “fleet management” currently describes an array of activities so diverse that it undoubtedly causes far more confusion than it could ever make up for in convenience.

Analytics: robotics’ untapped vein of business value

By adopting a robust, scalable approach to analytics today, companies can both realize immediate gains and safeguard themselves against robotics’ rising tide of complexity.

Formant Now Supports ROS Service Calls, Natively

When operating a robot or a fleet, it's likely you’ll be using ROS in your operations. An integral part of using ROS is service calls; now, we’re excited to announce that ROS service calls are now supported natively on the platform.  Although the action is still completed, manual ROS service calls took extra time, delaying […]

Hardware Considerations For 5G In Robotics

There’s no doubt that 5G is here to stay in the robotics industry. Between high speeds that enable improved bandwidth and latency to greater network coverage, it enables robots to perform better than ever before. But once you’ve decided to upgrade, now comes the next challenge: how do you find the right 5G hardware for […]

How To Fundraise For RaaS Companies

An excerpt from "What Is Robotics As A Service?",  a practical guide to starting, launching, and scaling a robotics company.  Raising money for any new venture can be a long, arduous process, especially when the founders or executive team lack entrepreneurs or leaders with prior successes and exits under their belt. Winning over investors for […]

Best Robotics Conferences to Attend For The Rest Of 2022

In 2022, the robotics industry’s been busy with a strong comeback to in-person events, showing off the major advancements companies have been working on. Although we’re already halfway through the year, there’s still time to attend conferences to learn where robotics is headed and meet with key players in the industry. Check out the top […]

The Evolution of Mobile Robots And What It Means For RaaS

When you think of mobile robots, chances are you picture a wheeled vehicle in a warehouse, shuffling among workers to transport materials from point A to point B. And with good reason. Autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) have taken off recently, particularly in warehouses and logistics, where these intelligent machines are working side by side with […]

Top Robotics Podcasts To Follow

Want to stay updated on the latest happenings in robotics but don’t have time to comb through the news or dig into a book?  Podcasts are an excellent way to keep up on hot topics whether it's during your morning workout on traveling for work. We’ve curated a list of the best robotics podcasts to […]

Creating A Robotics Simulation Pipeline With GitHub Actions And ROS

This post is contributed by Simon Bracegirdle, a Senior Consultant with Mechanical Rock.  Introduction At Mechanical Rock, we are strong believers in the benefits of continuous integration (CI) and continuous deployment (CD) pipelines. CI in particular is useful for running all kinds of validation and checks on your code before and after merging. For example, you […]

6 Standout Robots At Automate 2022

Held in Detroit, Michigan, the Automate 2022 conference didn’t fail to impress as hundreds of North American robotics companies showed off their automation solutions. The Formant team attended to exhibit with the Pittsburgh Robotics Network, but the team made sure to share some of this year’s robots that were shown.    1. FANUC M-2000iA   […]

Canvas + Formant: Data Flexibility For Robotics Companies

When it comes to building a successful robotics company, data is key. Yet, the strategic importance of data and data flexibility is often an afterthought, especially when it comes to building a strong tech stack.   Data affects every department, from operations to engineering, finance, and business. Although each has different needs for data, their reliance […]

Formant + Bitwise Bring Actionable Crop Yield Insights to Farmers

We’re excited to announce our partnership and integration with Bitwise Agronomy. Bitwise is a computer vision company focused on helping farmers improve the yield and profitability of their crops through optimized crop yield insights. Their core product, GreenView, uses machine learning to count and analyze the different growth stages of vines and berries, giving growers […]

How Robotics Companies Actually Use Data (And What We Got Wrong)

As a VP of Engineering at a robotics company, one of the most important things you need to get right is data. Data affects every department, and each one needs it for different reasons. From CFOs trying to understand the operating cost per robot, to operations focused on deployment times and mission achievements, and engineering […]

6 Lessons From ICRA 2022

Hosted in Philadelphia this year, ICRA 2022 welcomed a large crowd- of both humans and robots- and offered an amazing peek into what some of the top robotics companies and researchers are working on.  Whether you couldn’t make it in person or were too busy trying out the robots (we don’t blame you), here’s a […]

How Robots Are Automating Modern Healthcare

Picture this: it’s the middle of the week, and you’d like to get a few symptoms from a previous illness examined by a doctor, so you decide to make an appointment at your local urgent care. You arrive at the hospital and luckily are quickly given a room to be seen, expecting a nurse to […]

5 Takeaways from the Robotics Summit & Expo 2022

Couldn’t make it to RSE 2022, or looking for a quick recap to refresh your memory? Our team wrapped up the key takeaways from this week’s conference to help you bring insights back to your team. We'll include links to slides and session recordings as soon as they are available.   1. Interoperability is top […]

Formant + PagerDuty Accelerates Incident Resolution In Robotics

Formant, the leading provider of robotics data platform, has announced its integration with PagerDuty, the global leader in digital operations management, and also joins PagerDuty’s Integration Partner Program.  Professional service robots are popping up in a variety of environments– farms, sidewalks, warehouses, construction sites, nurseries, and even at the beaches. These new generation robots, unlike […]

Best Robotics Books To Read In 2022

Are you a beginner in robotics but don’t know where to start, or already an expert but looking to brush up on what’s happening in the industry? Check out our curated list of the best robotics books and ebooks to add to your reading list this year.     1. Springer Handbook of Robotics If you’re […]

Redefining The Robot Takeover

The robot takeover is here, but it isn’t the apocalyptic man-versus-machine future that’s been cast by Hollywood and sci-fi literature. In fact, the integration of robots into daily life is likely already happening in society, specifically in workplaces and commercial spaces including warehouses, farms, and even your local hospital. The sci-fi predictions of the last […]

4 Challenges Enterprise Companies Face For Robotics At Scale

When it comes to robotics at scale within large enterprise companies, it can feel as if there is a new challenge coming around every corner.  For many large enterprises, automation is still ramping up and working through testing stages, meaning planning for the future is top priority. It always gives the opportunity to predict certain […]

A Forthcoming Shift for Early-Stage Robotics Companies

In today’s market, reinvention and advanced software are no longer enough to see success. Differentiating a product from the abundant other solutions that exist will take more than simple innovation and a knack for tech, but a broader focus that places emphasis on critical customer needs and viable business models. Solve a Customer Problem Historically, […]

5G For Robotics: Is It Really A Game Changer?

So you’re considering 5G for robotics operations, but not sure of where to start or what the benefits of switching to 5G are? You aren’t alone in those decisions. Since the introduction of 5G in 2019, companies that utilize robots in their everyday operations have been reconsidering their current network solution. For many of these […]

Robotics 24/7 + Formant Webinar: How To Leverage Data To Build Custom Apps

The world of robotics has changed rapidly in the past five years. With the rise of robots-as-a-service and the increasing adoption of robots in new industries, software has become a critical component for the success and growth of robotics companies. This creates both opportunities and new challenges, specifically around creating applications that meet the unique […]

How to Build a Customer-Facing Portal with Formant IAM

In robotics, especially in end-user facing verticals like agriculture, there is a hypercritical need for an immediate return on investment. The focus needs to be on the business value to the customer and not just on the robots. Customers need to be able to view, manage and understand the impact of robots to their user […]

Formant Launches On-Premise to Meet the Growing Needs of Enterprise Companies

At Formant, we’re pretty big believers that data from robotic fleets should be in the cloud. We’ve spent the last few years building world-class, cloud-based data and telemetry solutions for robotic fleets, and we know there’s a massive benefit to robotics companies in having a web-based application to collect and manage that data. That being […]

Announcing Formant’s Series A — and what it means for us in 2022

We’re excited to announce that Formant has raised $18 million in our Series A fundraising round (read more on TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and Robotics 24/7). The round was led by SignalFire, with participation from Hillsven, Pelion, Goodyear Ventures, Thursday Ventures, Ericsson, Picus Capital, and Holman Strategic Ventures. This latest investment round will fuel customer acquisition growth […]

5 Real-World Applications of Quadruped Robots

Quadruped robots have captured the imaginations of many, thanks in large part to Boston Dynamics’ highly-entertaining viral videos featuring their robot, Spot. Despite their fresh moves, robots like Spot weren’t designed just to dance. Legged robots were built with real-world applications in mind, and thanks to recent advancements by the likes of Boston Dynamics, ANYbotics, […]

Formant + PickNik power the best-in-class low-latency interface for advanced arm motion planning

PickNik Robotics and Formant partner to bring cloud-based mobile manipulation to the forefront of robotics.

Solving the challenges of video telemetry for cost effective robot monitoring

The power of video in robot monitoring Understanding the operations of your robots requires more than staring at a wall of telemetry charts. Seeing is understanding. Using our eyes is often necessary to answer the critical questions about how to optimize a device for maximum effectiveness. In particular, video telemetry is a powerful information source […]

Group and categorize your fleet to improve observability

The primary goal of the Formant platform has always been to simplify and streamline fleet observability and management of your robotic devices. To better meet those goals, we are constantly refreshing and refining our platform in a variety of ways, both big and small.    Define and assign your fleet into groups Our latest update […]

Supercharging Formant's hybrid edge/cloud robotics platform with NVIDIA's Jetson

The combination of GPU optimized edge data processing paired with Formant’s observability & teleoperation platform creates a super efficient command and control center right out of the box.

Cut the costs of robotic observability (up to 80%) with on-demand ingestion

By storing one’s observational data on-device and accessing it selectively—rather than passively transferring a constant stream of data to the cloud—businesses can often reduce their cellular data expenditures by upwards of 80%.

The next wave of robotics starts with a dog walk — join us

Today we’re launching a new program called Walk With Spot to help accelerate the development of robotics applications. We’re doing this by giving people from all walks of life (like you) the opportunity to remotely control a Boston Dynamics Spot (robotic dog) from anywhere in the world using a simple web based application.

The four (formidable) phases of robotic cloud development - phase 1

The first of a four-part series designed to help you understand what precisely it means (and what it takes) to get your robot online, keep your robot online, and most of all, grow your robot business.

Every robotics application requires analytics

By making advanced analytics an integral part of your operations from day one, you enable your insights and understanding to scale smoothly with the size of your fleet.

Formant Receives Innovation Award from Robotics Business Review 2020

"With automated analytics and annotated data, Formant’s platform allows humans to work with robots in real time while also having instant access to relevant historical data."

SSH to your robot using Formant’s port forwarding

Learn how our customers connect directly to their robots using the comfortable, widely-used SSH protocol.

Configure your robot application settings remotely

With an intuitive, easy-to-use interface, and a secure backend, you can now configure your on-device applications from anywhere.

Issue the commands you want from anywhere

With such an intuitive and versatile command system at their hands, your operators can gain unparalleled efficiency and control over your organization's fleet. Learn more.

Improvements made possible by network-constrained testing of streaming robot data, part 2

Part 2 of our guide on how to optimize robots in network-constrained environments.

Testing for streaming robot data in network-constrained environments, part 1

Here's a guide to help you avoid one of the most common problems in robot fleet deployment: network connectivity.

10 key considerations when developing your robot's cloud backend

We’ve created the following list of 10 crucial things to keep in mind when developing your cloud-based backend for your robot fleets.

Robot field ops that spark joy

Does the platform you run your robots on spark joy for your team? Your customers? It should. Here's how Formant customers support robots in the field.

Formant is free to all companies that can leverage it in the fight against coronavirus

Formant is offering full access to its platform free of charge to any organization working to fight this pandemic.

Introducing Formant Capture

Collaborate with your field operator on a whole new level with streaming video directly from the field - using nothing but a simple, secure link.

Introducing Formant Deep Linking

The easiest way to create customized, linkable observability views

Automation, employment, & inaction

In the early 1900s, op-ed columns across the U.S. were abuzz with the topic of automation.

The growth ratio: why so many robotics startups fail to scale

Many robotics startups fail to invest in efficiencies and infrastructure that allow them to scale. We dive into that in this post.

Advancing AI to get robots to work with humans

We believe that the future of robotics is one where you have one operator managing hundreds or thousands of robots. With our platform, operators at robotics companies become superhumans.

It's time we put "fleet management" to rest — here's why

The term “fleet management” currently describes an array of activities so diverse that it undoubtedly causes far more confusion than it could ever make up for in convenience.

Analytics: robotics’ untapped vein of business value

By adopting a robust, scalable approach to analytics today, companies can both realize immediate gains and safeguard themselves against robotics’ rising tide of complexity.

Beyond autonomy: ROS in solution architecture

Formant's Head of Software delivering the keynote at ROSCon2019 in Macau.

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