The rise of the robots (as a service)

Robotics or robots as a service (RaaS) is a business model where customers can deploy robotic process automation (RPA) as a cloud-based service while leasing robotic devices as needed. It’s gaining prominence because it provides facilities with the ability to rapidly scale up and down as demand dictates and allows buyers to expand or experiment with robotics without going through a rigorous purchasing process.

“When using robotics to replace people, a five-year payback time can be typical, rising to ten years for some industries. This is because robots are expensive and the people they’re replacing are often not highly paid. Using RaaS to avoid the massive initial investment is clearly attractive,” notes Chris Roberts, head of industrial robotics at management consulting company Cambridge Consultants.

Furthermore, it also follows the trend of companies moving towards cloud solutions rather than investing in large hardware and maintenance projects.

Although RaaS can offer benefits to businesses of any size, it is a model particularly well suited to SMEs, which may not have the right IT resources to deploy robotics platforms.

“These organizations will gain more value from investing in RaaS as it enables them to focus on the development of the actual robotic process automation without having to deal with technical back-end issues,” notes Itay Reiner, head of product management for robotic automation company NICE Advanced Process Automation.

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Keri Allan

Keri Allan is a freelance journalist and editor who has been covering the engineering and technology sector for over 15 years, writing for titles including E&T Magazine, The Engineer and Arabian Computer News.

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