Robots-as-a-service (RaaS)

What is robots-as-a-service (RaaS)?

Robots-as-a-service (RaaS) is a business model in which robotics companies offer the use of their robot devices via a subscription-based contract. As robotic adoption increases, more and more companies are seeing the value of the RaaS model to reduce risk and provide scalable solutions for customers. ABI Research predicts that by 2026 there will be 1.3 million installations of RaaS generating $34 billion in revenue.

How does robotics as a service work?

A typical use case for RaaS is when a company purchases licensing for a physical industrial or service robot. This is similar to the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model. The company does not own the actual robotic unit or the technology that operates it. Instead, they are licensing the use of the robot for their company. The company pays a recurring fee for the continued use of the RaaS. The fees and other terms for the use of the robot are stipulated in a contract between the robotics provider and the company.

The Rise of Robots-as-a-Service (RaaS)

Developing a robotic device is still very costly and requires a lot of time and effort for a company. Due to the significant level of investment needed to build, operate and maintain robots, companies cannot afford to buy pre-built robots upfront. Due to these circumstances and other constraints many companies face, many are turning to the RaaS model.

The benefits of the RaaS model over traditional robotics programs include:

  • Flexibility
  • Scalability
  • Lower cost of entry

The RaaS model is not without its challenges and limitations. Some of the obstacles include the amount of customization that is required in order for the platform and robotic fleet to meet the needs of a company. The implementation can be complex with both the physical implementation of robotic units in a warehouse or factory as well as the implementation of the software component for human operators. In addition, the RaaS model requires significant training to ensure the proper use of the robotic units.

Robots-as-a-service has opened up robotics to a wider range of small to medium-sized businesses. With RaaS smaller businesses can scale up their robotics operations relatively quickly to keep up with changing market conditions and company needs.

Robotics-as-a-Service in Action

The RaaS model can be adapted for a variety of uses. For example, warehouse picker robots, industrial robots, security operations, automotive, and agriculture. The robotic fleets can typically replace human workers to increase speed and productivity while keeping labor costs low.

Some examples of RaaS companies include:

Formant was designed to help RaaS companies easily launch and scale their robot operations. Contact us to learn more or get a demo.