News and blog

6 Innovative Robots At Automate 2023

Back for 2023, the Automate conference returned to Detroit, MI with over 750 exhibitors showing off the most innovative robot solutions. Our team took to the floor, and although unfortunately we can't highlight them all, check out some of the standout robots we came across at the event.     1. Locus Robotics Making a return […]

6 Signs You’ve Outgrown Your Internal Robot Platform

Growth is always good- right?  For robotics companies, growth means larger fleets and more robots deployed to customer locations; all positive trends. However, scaling your robot operations also means it’s time to take a look at how your internal robot platform will support a larger fleet.  A robot platform is vital to the success of […]

Formant Makes Vast Improvements To ROS 2 Integration

As the Robot Operating System continues to be one of the most common robotics software system utilized in robotics, we’re excited to announce we’ve made vast improvements to our ROS 2 support for users.  Open Robotics, the creator of ROS, announced that ROS 1 Noetic (the most recent version) will reach end-of-life in May of […]

Introducing Theopolis, Formant’s Integration With Generative AI

We’re excited to announce Formant's new integration with generative AI, Theopolis.  ChatGPT is the leading large-language model (LLM). Available today, Theopolis provides both the standardized structured Formant workflows enabling users to manage robotic fleets at scale, as well as the new exploratory workflows that allow users to ask exploratory questions of their robot data to […]

Tackling The Issue Of Connectivity In Robotic Farming

The following is a transcript of a conversation on connectivity from “Overcoming Common Challenges In Robotic Farming”, a webinar hosted by Formant.    James Turnshek, Chief Architect at Formant: A lot of people asked us when we put this webinar together about networking [network connectivity] because it's one of the things that everyone seems to […]

Ingredients Of A Successful Warehouse RaaS Solution

An excerpt from "Robotics And The Modern Warehouse",  a guide exploring how robotics-as-a-service is revolutionizing warehouses.  While no two RaaS warehouse offerings are identical, there are some common traits everyone should strive for in creating a successful solution. In this excerpt, you'll learn every aspect to consider when developing a robotic solution for warehouse and […]

No Robot Experience Required

If you thought you’d never work alongside a robot in your career, millions of others in the workforce would likely agree with you. Even a few years ago, the concept of having a robotics job for non-technical roles still seemed like a sci-fi dream.  Today, however, this is no longer the case.  The rapid pace […]

The Hidden Costs of Robot Operations

So you’ve started a robotics company.  Fundraising has provided enough to get off the ground, you’ve hired an excellent team, and have a few pilot customers ready to take a bet on your hardware. You’re completely prepared- or so you think.  As anyone who works in robotics and tech knows, sometimes the smallest issues can […]

Don't Sell Your Robots

Selling robots has been the standard of the robotics industry since its creation. It's what drives the continued success of automation. And while there will always be a strong market for selling hardware, simply selling a robot in today’s market may not be the most beneficial model for young robotics companies in every case.  Amid […]

Beyond Sensors & Cameras: CEO Jeff Linnell On Why Robotics Companies Need Data Platforms For True Innovation

Jeff Linnell, our CEO and Founder, joined Builder Nation's podcast host Elisa Muñoz to share his experiences building a cloud-based data platform and the insights he’s gained from his experience working in the robotics industry. In today's highly competitive business landscape, data has become the driving force behind companies' success and is essential for proving […]

How Automation Is Revolutionizing Facilities Management

As robotics continues to enter more industries, facilities management is quickly becoming an increasingly popular use case for automation. It’s no secret that labor shortages have been a long-standing issue for businesses. Now that cleaning and sanitation have received increased attention after the pandemic, robots are stepping in to assist with streamlining facility service tasks.  […]

Building vs Buying a Robotics Platform

In this blog post, we dig into a topic that is near and dear to our heart: the decision of whether to buy or build a cloud platform for your robotics business. Why do you need a cloud data platform? In order to deploy and manage a fleet of robots successfully, companies need to adopt […]

Meet Alpacabot, Your Friendly Farm Robot

Robots and alpacas may be an unlikely pairing, but our friends at Clearpath Robotics made it happen. In an effort to test remote outdoor navigation, the Clearpath team decided to send one lucky robot of theirs packing to a farm in Colorado. In the wide open spaces of the West, they were able to test […]

How Formant Is Powering RoboTire’s Revolutionary Tire Changing System

Although tire-changing may not be the first task that comes to mind when thinking about automation, RoboTire is utilizing Formant’s remote support capabilities to streamline and automate this traditionally time-consuming task – and it’s a game changer. RoboTire, a Michigan-based robotics company, is focused on improving efficiency in vehicle maintenance, specifically tire-changing. By introducing its […]

A Year In Review: Formant 2022

When reflecting on 2022, it’s hard for us to pinpoint just one moment from all we worked on.  2022 was a year of growth for us. We welcomed 21 InFormants to our team and hosted our largest company summit in Carmel Valley, CA.  Here’s a peek into a few interesting details of our platform:   We […]

Best Robotics Conferences To Attend In 2023

Planning out your robotics conference calendar for 2023? Look no further.  We’ve gathered the top robotics conferences your team should head to this year to meet your audiences and show off those bots.   Robotics Summit & Expo  Boston, MA, May 10-11 This educational forum and expo is held every year at the Boston Convention […]

Robotics Trends To Keep Your Eye On in 2023

We know; another year, another set of trends to follow. However, 2022 proved to be an important year for robotics which saw incredible growth across multiple sectors. Coming into a more normal state of the world allowed the industry to get back to in-person conferences and bring more robots to feed the growing demand for […]

Formant + Kinova Partner To Advance Gen3 Arm Adoption

Formant is proud to announce our newest partnership with Kinova.  Kinova, a leader in developing robotic solutions for the medical and industrial industries, is well-known for its advanced robotic arms that are widely utilized in the robotics industry.  To help support the widespread use of their arms for robotics companies, Formant has partnered with Kinova […]

Best Tools For Roboticists

Every roboticist needs an arsenal of software tools to ensure their robot is running smoothly and they can visualize everything happening within the robot and around it. And we’ll be honest, it’s not always easy to find them, especially if you’re new to robotics.  To help you best prepare for 2023, we’ve compiled a list […]

Why Robotics Companies Need To Build Solution-First

When building a robotics company from the ground up, it’s pretty easy to get lost focusing on building the most impressive hardware in the market. With a surge in technical advances and commoditized components, it sometimes feels like everyone’s in a constant race to build the “best robot” and keep one-upping the rest of the […]

Accessing CAN Bus Information Via Formant

Communication is one of the most important aspects of helping a robot function properly. If one part of the device cannot communicate with the other, tasks and missions can’t be reliably carried out. But sometimes the higher-level information passed between nodes isn't granular enough to investigate the root cause of an issue. As a data […]

Using WebRTC To Work Around Cal/OSHA Section 3441(b) For Farming Robots

If you are working in the agricultural robotics industry, chances are that you have heard of or run into Cal/OSHA 3441(b). According to the website of California’s Department of Industrial Relations, “All self-propelled equipment shall, when under its own power and in motion, have an operator stationed at the vehicular controls.”  In addition to the […]

4 Highlights From ROSCon 2022

Last week, our Formanteers traveled to Kyoto, Japan to visit ROSCon 2022, hosted by Open Robotics. With approximately 800 ROS users in attendance, our team had an amazing time meeting with everyone and sharing the exciting news of a free tier we launched last week.  Want to see what our Formanteers got up to in […]

The Reality Of Digital Doubles

Digital doubles are not an entirely new concept in the world. Utilized in industries including building management and oil and gas, these virtual assets have been helping experts navigate an environment remotely for years.  In reality, the current state of digital doubles (also referred to as digital twins), is still in its infancy, and more […]

Formant + alwaysAI Partner To Bring Advanced Computer Vision To Enterprise Robotic Fleets

We’re excited to announce our newest partnership with alwaysAI!  A leader in the computer vision platform industry, alwaysAI provides developers and enterprises with a comprehensive platform for building, training, deploying, and managing computer vision applications on IoT devices.  This partnership will help us deliver a cutting-edge integration, providing more value to enterprises in their robotics […]

Why Modern Warehouses Need Vendor-Agnostic Robot Fleet Management

The modern warehouse is changing.  As automation becomes simpler and cheaper, more and more companies are leveraging autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) for warehouse operations. These AMRs are tackling warehouse operations tasks such as intra-logistics, cleaning, inspection, and maintenance.  In order to deploy and manage a fleet of robots in a warehouse successfully, companies need to […]

RaaS Fundraising Roundtable: How Robots-As-A-Service Companies Can Fundraise In A Challenging Economy

In the post-pandemic economy, funding for startups has begun to trend downwards, yet plenty of robots-as-a-service (RaaS) companies still need to raise successful rounds to survive. With the RaaS market on the rise and still emerging as a viable model, early-stage RaaS companies need to understand exactly how to navigate the fundraising journey to win […]

Why Building Robot Literacy Is Critical For Future-Proofing Businesses

Did you ever think you’d work with a robot?  For most people, the answer would likely be no. But in present times, any job has to be prepared to take on a robotic counterpart.   Often thought to be one of the most tech-involved devices, robots are rapidly becoming more accessible to the “everyday” worker, and […]

What Will Be The Impact of ROS 2 On Commercialized Robotics?

ROS is one of the most widely used operating systems in the robotics industry. If you use it, especially for commercial purposes, it’s likely at some point you’ve had to ask what the differences are between ROS 1 versus ROS 2.  With its first non-beta release in 2017, ROS 2 marked a significant shift in […]

What RaaS Means For Restaurants: Reinventing Hospitality Experiences

If you can’t handle the heat, send the robots into the kitchen…or something like that?  Post-pandemic, multiple industries were hit with labor shortages that left businesses, particularly those that rely heavily on customer-facing roles, struggling to find enough people to fill jobs, and has left restaurants and hospitality businesses feeling the burn the most.  Since […]

Must-Have Visualizations For Your Robot Dashboard

For a smoothly running mission, your number one priority is to have a handle on all incoming data. To do so, you have a few options: you can watch the console stream from the robot, run tail on log files, or even go so far as to build your own dashboard. However, when printing or building […]

3 Essential Jobs Formant Helps Robot Operators Achieve

In robot operations, efficiency and speed are key. Whether you're launching a mission or teleoperating a robot to correct a sudden spill, having every capability needed to oversee a mission at your fingertips can be the difference between a successful mission and lost productivity.  This is where we come in. Formant enables robot operators to […]

3 Takeaways From Formant’s 2022 Summer Summit

On August 2nd, the Formant team took off to Carmel Valley, CA to meet for four days for Formant's 2022 Summer Summit. For many, this was the first time they’ve ever met colleagues offline.   But we weren’t only there to enjoy the beautiful weather. For Formanteers, this was the chance to share ideas across departments, […]

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 help […]

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 the Robotics Summit and Expo 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.   […]

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 2023

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 in 2023.     1. Robot-Proof: Higher Education in the Age […]

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 […]

Formant + Robotics 24/7 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.

Automation Of Robot Data Collection For Business Insights

Head of Solutions, Abraham Dauhajre, on data collection for fleets.

Robots are hard, game engines are not: why we built our own simulator using Unity

Here's why we used Unity to build a simulator for our robot fleet management platform.

Formant launches platform to observe, analyze, and operate robot fleets

Today Formant announced the availability of their platform, which enables businesses to automatically collect and analyze robotics data.

Security by design, part 1: end-to-end encryption and identity for robotics systems

This first post will cover how we secure end-to-end encryption and identity throughout our stack.

Flip the ratio of engineers to robots

How to scale a robot company.

Formant acquires teleoperation startup, Formation

Formant has acquired Formation, a robot teleoperation startup based in Pittsburgh.

Ian Sherman on Real World Devops discussing observability

Formant's Head of Software, Ian Sherman, was the featured guest on Mike Julian's Real World DevOps.

Tune machine learning algorithms with a ‘DVR for data’

We approached the ML tuning problem from the assumption that it could be done differently: in an intuitive, visual way.

Build vs. buy decisions in robotics cloud platforms

Here's how Formant would be a better choice than a home-brewed solution.

Common features of robotics observability platforms

Here's your intro to robotics observability platforms.

Defining observability for robotics

For robotics applications to achieve the same high availability we’ve come to expect from web services, we need better observability in robotics.

Speak robot

The bottom line is this: when the next wave of autonomous and semi-autonomous machines come online in the coming years, they will bring with them a tsunami of data.

On TechCrunch: ex-Googlers launch cobotics startup

TechCrunch: "Until workplace robots are truly autonomous and don’t require any human thinking, we’ll need software to supervise them at scale."

On ZDNet: Want a hybrid workforce?

ZDNet: "Google X roboticists and engineers aim to provide solution to make sense of robot data in industries such as retail, construction, automotive and healthcare."