Robot Fleet Management Software

What is robot fleet management software?

Robot fleet management software is a complete solution consolidating the deployment, configuration, and management of robotic fleets. These systems provide a centralized platform allowing organizations to monitor and control the robots from a single interface.

As robots move from the interesting potential of pilots to essential elements of core operations, users find themselves in need of a robot fleet management solution. Ideally, it must handle multiple types of robots from various companies, demanding a vendor-agnostic approach. 

Key functionality of robot fleet management software

To effectively and efficiently manage a diversified robot deployment, most robot fleet management software must:

  • Enable the user to holistically manage and control all robots from a single application and visual interface.
  • Use location services for mapping and traffic control between different robot types so all robots know the appropriate order of operations when crossing paths with one another. 
  • Centralize notifications and alerts so users can prioritize and respond to all known issues
  • Allow teleoperation of all robots from a centralized console.
  • Leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning to learn and improve based upon real-time and historical data from all robots in the system.
  • Support standards, like the MassRobotics AMR Interoperability standard and APIs for easier integration. 
  • Scale up smoothly in a heterogeneous environment from 20 robots to 200 or more.
  • Secure and protect systems and robots against viruses and intruders.

Market dynamics

Market researcher Market Research Future has forecast the global market for robot fleet management software to grow at a combined aggregate growth rate (CAGR) of 34% between 2022 and 2030 to reach a global total of USD$882 million.

The adoption of multiple robots at scale is a strong predictor for who will seek out and this software. Breakdowns of current users logically track with the industries where robot adoption is growing, such as warehousing, logistics and delivery, healthcare, agriculture, construction, and industrial/manufacturing.  

Channels for robot fleet management software

Multiple categories of vendors offer robot fleet management software:

Robot manufacturers

Every robot—whether operating as a single autonomous mower at a residential home or one amongst a fleet of hundreds in a warehouse—must transmit information about its status, errors, location, and other factors to the team managing the fleet. Unless the robot manufacturer has purposely designed its software to support brands other than its own—or based it exclusively on open standards—the robot fleet management software provided by those manufacturers will only support the vendor’s brand of robots. 

Some robot manufacturers determined their expertise lay in hardware. They partner with or license software from an independent provider. This enables the robot manufacturer to offer customers a complete solution without having to also develop equal expertise in software. The ability to extend and integrate these solutions depends on how the manufacturer and software provider worked to pre-integrate the two.

Robot fleet management software vendors

Taking a holistic, vendor-agnostic approach, these providers provide the ability to manage and monitor all the robots in a fleet regardless of their make and model, so industry standards and open APIs are often key for bringing everything together in a single pane of glass. 

As mentioned above, these providers might sell their solutions directly to customers or to robot manufacturers needing a management tool to sell alongside their robots. Software providers can also sell to robots-as-a-service (RaaS) companies looking to deliver comprehensive solutions to their customers. 

Robots-as-a-Service providers

Customers contract with a RaaS provider in part to get a turnkey solution billed on a monthly or annual basis, which helps them avoid large capital investments. The RaaS model makes a lot of sense for buyers worried about ROI or equipment obsolescence. 

RaaS providers have a vested interest in ensuring efficiency and a strong robot fleet management software solution is a key component of their offering. Since their customers aren’t locked in long-term, they must ensure their customers maximize the value of their fleet so they renew and expand.

Broader systems integrator/consultant providing customized solution

These providers might be large, global consultancies working on broader initiatives around digital transformation, operational optimization, or similar goals that utilize a robot fleet as part of their engagements. They could also be small boutiques, exclusively focusing on robot fleet installations in a specific market segment. These consulting providers may create customized solutions for the client to manage their new robot fleets. 

The business model could lean on traditional capital investment, a RaaS business model, or a hybrid approach using SaaS fleet management software with existing and additional hardware owned by the client. Due to the bespoke nature of these consultancy engagements, they may feature more custom integration or features in their software solutions than would be found in an off-the-shelf offering.