News and blog

From POC To Launch: Advice On Successful Robotics Commercialization

The following information on robotics commercialization is an excerpt from our guide, The Enterprise Guide to Building a Robotics Roadmap. Setting milestones, opening communication, and tracking data all feed into one main goal: commercialization.  It’s a long journey from experimentation to enterprise-level implementation, and when you get to the final stages, proposing commercialization in a […]

5 Must-Track Metrics To Understand Robot Fleet Health

Monitoring robot fleet health has resembled human health for much of history–ignored until there is enough of an impact that we finally seek help. Only then will a professional assess the available information to make a diagnosis.  Fortunately for people and robots, that is changing. Products like Fitbits or Apple watches now proactively gather health […]

The True Cost Of Robot Downtime

The demand for efficiency is rapidly growing for businesses, leading many company leaders to adopt physical automation (robotics) into their processes industries, from warehousing to agriculture, cleaning, and more. However, simply adopting robots doesn’t instantly increase efficiency. Technical issues, human error, and unforeseen circumstances can all affect a robot’s performance and, ultimately, the bottom line.  […]

Why Is Customer Success So Important In Robotics?

Every robotics company wants its customers to be successful—it improves their reputation, and, more importantly, it means successful customers will keep coming back from more. “Customer Success,” however, is something more specific… but it’s still something every company should care about, especially those seeking to push boundaries with cutting-edge automation.  But what is it, exactly? […]

How Formant Powers Enterprise Robotics

At the forefront of commercial robotics lies the challenge of supporting enterprise fleets. Dispersed across various industries and environments, each fleet has unique needs and parameters that can be difficult to track at scale.  Recently, we announced our $21M funding round that followed a year of explosive enterprise growth at Formant and our partnership with […]

A Look Back at Formant’s 2023

With 2023 officially coming to a close, we’d like to take a brief moment to recap all that took place this year at Formant. We experienced plenty of growth as you may have seen in the news, but there were plenty of other moments we fondly look back on. Amidst all the changes this year, […]

Formant Advances Fleet Management With NVIDIA Jetson

This article is written in collaboration with NVIDIA.  Robots are quickly entering parts of everyday life. From autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) roaming streets on last-mile delivery missions to manufacturing robotic arms on assembly lines, automation now performs various tasks we only dreamed of.  NVIDIA foresaw this shift, releasing almost a decade ago the NVIDIA Jetson […]

SoftBank Robotics America And Formant Announce Partnership

We’re excited to announce Formant's strategic partnership with SoftBank Robotics America (SBRA), the North American arm of the global leader in robotics solutions, to drive deeper integration across the portfolio of solutions SoftBank Robotics offers to help businesses transform the way they get work done. You can learn more about the release in the press: […]

What Will 2024 Hold For Robotics? Here’s Our Predictions

The time has come again for new year predictions to trickle in from companies and robotics leaders. But what weight do predictions truly hold when each year proves to be as unpredictable as the next?  Rather than casting vague predictions for robotics in 2024, we’ve taken some observations from this year and applied them to […]

Why Numbers Don’t Tell The Whole Story In Robotics

In robotics, success is often measured in numbers.  Metrics surrounding productivity, speed, and ROI reign as the most valuable information a robotics company can demonstrate- and rightfully so. By design, robots are expected to improve upon all of the listed metrics and prove how automation can benefit the bottom line. But, can the soft benefits […]

Does Your Robot Data Strategy Keep All Users In Mind?

For robotics companies across all industries, robot data is at the heart of operations and strategy in every department- especially when operating at scale.  Between sensors, cameras, and other systems, robots ingest so much data that prioritizing which data to keep and which groups need access can feel like a monumental challenge. But how can […]

Formant Raises $21M Funding To Support Explosive Enterprise Growth

I’m excited to share that Formant has raised $21 million in our latest funding round, adding new investors BMW i Ventures, Intel Capital, and GS Futures. You can read more about it in some of today’s press coverage: Techcrunch The Robot Report Robotics 24/7 This funding follows a year of record growth for Formant, in […]

Increased Quality vs Decreased Costs: What’s A More Effective Pitch?

This blog was written in collaboration between Oskar Jonuks, Digital Media Manager at Ekobot, and Alex Sixt, Content Marketing Manager at Formant.  Farmers are facing plenty of pressure these days.  As the global population grows, demand that farmers produce food increases as well. The global population is on an upward trajectory, and with it, the […]

Best Robot Simulators

With robots entering new environments and verticals every day, robot simulators streamline the development cycle of robots, trims expenses, and boost overall efficiency. If you’re trying to decide which simulation software best fits your needs, let’s take a look at some of the top choices available.   NVIDIA Isaac SIM NVIDIA Isaac SIM powered by […]

How To Communicate The ROI Of Property Management Robots

This blog is taken from a transcript of our recent webinar, “The Potential of Autonomous Robots In Property Management”, discussing how to communicate ROI and find the right customers. It has been slightly modified for reading. Featured speakers are Jack Morrison, CEO of Scythe Robotics & William (Bill) Santana Li, CEO of Knightscope, hosted by […]

Keep Or Replace: Where Should You Source Your Robot Operations?

Your year is off to a great start; your pilot deployments have gone well, customers are happy, and the demand for your robot is steadily rising. Until now, your robot operations and data ingestion have been managed on your internal platform.    You’ve built your robot platform…. Now comes the maintenance and scaling of it. […]

Setting Realistic Expectations for Robotic Farming: Deployment and Beyond

When the task at hand is to help feed the world, it's vital that farms all over the world operate as efficiently as possible. However, in robotic farming, a smooth deployment isn't guaranteed and can throw quite a few curveballs at robots in the field.  Agriculture environments are a well-known application for robots, but as […]

Announcing the State of RaaS 2023 Report

The Formant team is pleased to announce the State of RaaS 2023 Report, revealing the trends, challenges faced, and tools used by robotics-as-a-service (RaaS) companies to scale.  It’s clear automation is taking industries by storm- with labor shortages and higher demand for efficiency, more companies need physical automation than ever before. To address this need, […]

Everything You Need To Know About Integrating Robots Into Your Warehouse Workforce

This blog was written in collaboration between Mary Hart, Content Marketing Manager at Locus Robotics and Alex Sixt, Content Marketing Manager at Formant.  Implementing robots into any environment is no easy task; but in a warehouse environment, it can feel downright intimidating.  While the reasons for automation vary from business to business, warehouses are in […]

4 Takeaways From ICRA 2023

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the 2023 International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) in London. The conference brings together roughly 5,000 roboticists, students, and companies to talk about the latest happenings in the world of robotics. Formant had a booth in the exhibit hall and sent in a team of four […]

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 2024

As the robotics industry grows each year, events provide spaces where the community can come together to learn and see innovations. But with so many options, how do you know where to start, let alone find the most applicable events?  The good news is, we’ve gathered the best robotics conferences to consider for 2024 in […]

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 […]

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."