Robotics and Automation
Formic | January 23, 2024
Formic Technologies, a provider of Robotics-as-a-Service automation for US manufacturers, announced the release of a suite of software tools to accelerate and simplify the deployment of robotic automation systems for businesses with no internal expertise, while also empowering their existing workforce to thrive and grow with the new technology. The Formic software is based on data and experience gathered from hundreds of thousands of hours of real production time across the Formic robot fleet - from state-of the-art Fortune 500 production facilities to small 30 person local manufacturing plants. Formic’s software enables operations teams and delivers results for every business size.
The Formic Core operating system makes working with robotic automation solutions as easy as using your smartphone, Apple CarPlay, or Netflix. The intuitive multilanguage touchscreen UI allows all existing employees to operate Formic robots and program the equipment to meet production needs - all without any advanced training. At the same time, the software transforms the robot into a “smart system” capable of automatically adjusting to new obstacles in the vicinity of the robot, connecting to any new peripherals, and monitoring all sensor data, production rates, uptime, cycle times and more.
“As the labor shortage continues to impact US manufacturing to the tune of more than one million jobs going unfilled in 2023, business leaders need to figure out how to get more out of what they have,” said Formic CEO, Saman Farid. “Formic Core makes it simple for business leaders to adopt automation by leveraging the existing capabilities of their workforce to streamline production while improving safety, quality, and throughput - all without any required capital expense.”
All of the process information captured by Formic Core feeds into the powerful Formic Colony 2.0 performance dashboard. This command center software monitors total system performance across a wide range of deployments and uses AI to analyze the data coming from all robots, enabling predictive analysis of anomalies and preventative operations to minimize downtime and even prevent it. This data is accessible to facility owners and operators in real-time through the Formic App available for download on the Apple App and Google Play stores. Formic's technicians can use this data and the remote system access provided by the new software to resolve issues from a distance, enabling a swift return to production should any stoppages occur. While the Formic Colony toolkit is primarily leveraged by the Formic operations team to service customer deployments, it is also available for larger businesses to use internally with more advanced teams responsible for automation systems in multiple locations.
The Formic FAST software suite enables the Solutions Engineering team to provide robotic system specification, quoting, and augmented reality (AR) demonstrations faster than ever before, reducing design and deployment times from months to weeks. This accelerated service delivers a best-in-class customer experience by expediting the path to greater productivity on the production floor.
“Advanced automation has historically been elusive for all but the largest manufacturers,” said Shahin Farshchi, General Partner at Lux Capital. “Formic is changing that. By leveraging advanced AI and proprietary algorithms, Formic has automated the labor-intensive and expensive process of automating a work cell, and makes automating as easy as hiring workers for all logistics and manufacturing companies - large and small alike.”
With the addition of these new software products, Formic now boasts a full complement of $0 CapEx robotic automation solutions, powerful workforce enabling software, a complete system monitoring platform, and solution identification, augmented reality, and simulation software to deliver US manufacturing businesses scale and growth. Formic is building a robotic workforce that can be used in every American manufacturing facility, with the aim to bring prosperity and abundance by making everyday items easy to produce and deliver.
Founded in 2020, Formic makes robotics and automation accessible for all US manufacturing businesses. The Chicago-based “Robotics-as-a-Service” company delivers robotic automation for a low hourly rate, including 24/7 monitoring, 100% maintenance coverage, and guaranteed performance without the need for large, risky capital investments. Driving continuous improvement in safety, quality, and throughput is now possible for every business. With 7x growth in production hours YoY, Formic is currently entertaining Series B funding.
Detroit Manufacturing Systems (DMS) | January 11, 2024
Wireless commercial vehicle charging took a big step forward with an agreement between Detroit Manufacturing Systems and InductEV. In the landmark agreement, DMS, a large-scale, U.S.-based assembly provider, will bring its operations, manufacturing, quality by design, and supply chain expertise to InductEV allowing the latter to more quickly scale to meet customer demand.
InductEV is reinventing how electric commercial fleet vehicles charge their batteries by charging on route, using clean renewable electricity. With its wireless induction solution now deployed worldwide and with 18 patents granted and 23 in process, the King of Prussia, PA-based company is the global leader in high-power, high-speed wireless EV charging and AI-software powered energy management.
Under the terms of this agreement, DMS will
Manufacture InductEV's hardware, including in-ground and under-vehicle inductive pads. Manage InductEV's supply chain and procurement. Utilize engineering expertise to facilitate high quality, design for manufacturing and assembly. Co-develop design optimizations to prepare for a 100-fold increase in production volume.
"We couldn't be more pleased to have a manufacturing partner, known for its high standards and operating rigor, combine forces with our proprietary engineering," said Barry Libert, Chairman and CEO, InductEV. "Our complementary areas of expertise will enable us to meet the growing demand from commercial fleet owners and operators, as well as Intermodal facilities and Ports, for our advanced, AI-managed wireless charging solution."
Among its product offerings, Detroit Manufacturing Systems currently handles manufacturing for the Ford EV F-150 Lightning signaling its expertise in advanced electric vehicle components and systems production. InductEV's patented technology is currently being used in locations throughout North America and Europe, including in Washington State, Indianapolis, Martha's Vineyard, and in Gothenburg, Sweden, Volvo's hometown. (Volvo Ventures is an InductEV investor.) The company is poised to announce the largest commitment by a U.S. port facility to its wireless charging technology.
"We recognize and applaud InductEV's efforts to wirelessly electrify commercial fleets, the biggest contributor in transportation to greenhouse gas emissions worldwide," added Bruce Smith, Chairman and CEO, Detroit Manufacturing Systems. "We look forward to bringing our manufacturing, quality and supply chain expertise to this partnership and creating a successful venture that will help reduce this sector's carbon footprint at a considerable cost savings for all involved."
InductEV's proprietary, on-route wireless charging solution shifts EV charging to daytime use of renewables. It reduces the need for large EV batteries, lowering vehicle costs, and eliminates the need for recycling by extending battery life by a factor of 4-8X. Wireless charging also enables the broad deployment of autonomous vehicles.
InductEV is revolutionizing how electric commercial fleet vehicles charge their batteries. With its proprietary on-route wireless solution now deployed throughout North America and Europe and with 18 U.S. patents and 23 pending, the King of Prussia, PA-based company is the global leader in high-power, high-speed wireless EV charging and AI-software powered energy management. The company just opened one of world's first R&D centers for wireless vehicle charging.
About Detroit Manufacturing Systems (DMS)
Detroit Manufacturing Systems (DMS) is a contract manufacturing and assembly company that is committed to and is constantly striving for manufacturing excellence and perfect quality. This is achieved through meticulous mistake proofing and a culture of continuous improvement. DMS' GIFTED & RICH fundamental beliefs, management principles, and core values guide the staff in proactively and transparently engaging with customers and suppliers. DMS is also committed to protecting the local and global environment and minimizing the environmental impacts concerning their activities, products and services.
Robotics and Automation
RobotLAB | January 24, 2024
RobotLAB, the premier robotics integrator that has delivered impactful business innovations and solutions for more than 15 years, is proud to report a remarkable and record-setting 2023, driven by prominent strategic partnerships, increasing demand strength and the launch of a groundbreaking robotics integration franchise program. With investments in robotics and automation expected to grow 7% annually in the next two years, RobotLAB’s remarkable 2023 underscores the fast-paced evolution of the robotics industry. As more companies nationwide seek accessible, easy-to-integrate robotics solutions, RobotLAB envisions a clear and wide path for continued success in 2024 and beyond.
“I am deeply appreciative to work alongside a talented and dedicated team who made 2023 our strongest year to date, and we’re motivated by portfolio growth, new franchisees and notable partnerships to reach even more milestones in 2024,” said RobotLAB Founder and CEO, Elad Inbar. “Last year was characterized by intentional, bold steps – like launching the world’s first robotics integration franchise program - not only to enable corporate growth, but to fuel the growth of the entire robotics industry.”
In 2023, RobotLAB proudly debuted a first-of-its-kind robotics integration franchise model, which established the nationwide infrastructure required to meet the rapidly growing marketplace demand for robotics solutions in key economic sectors, including delivery, cleaning, education and customer service. In the six months following the launch of the program, RobotLAB awarded 26 territories to five franchise groups in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, Charlotte, N.C., Raleigh, N.C., Atlantic City, N.J., and Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., with agreements for an additional 23 territories near completion. The innovative program was an immediate magnet for experienced franchisees wanting to diversify their portfolios, as well as entrepreneurs looking to enter the franchising world via the only future-proof, robot franchise available. With franchised offices now open in key markets across the country, and more in the pipeline, RobotLAB is building a reliable, customer-driven network of robotics professionals who can provide sales, tailored programming, onsite integration, and repairs to local communities and regional economies – ensuring more companies can access, understand and realize robotics solutions that will dramatically improve their business.
RobotLAB’s successful 2023 was also marked by landmark partnerships with leaders in the public and private sectors. RobotLAB inked an agreement with the American Samoa Department of Education to provide more than 150 technology carts to the nation’s public schools. Each cart included humanoid robots, virtual reality headsets, laptops, tablets and lesson plans to expose students to age-appropriate technology and encourage a mastery of computer science, artificial intelligence, automation, STEM and robotics. On the commercial side, RobotLAB was tapped by B2B technology leader LG Business Solutions USA to expand the integration of its state-of-the-art hospitality robots, LG CLOi ServeBot and LG CLOi GuideBot, in restaurants, hotels and similar venues throughout the United States. The innovative robotics integrator was also named Bear Robotics’ preferred U.S. dealer partner for its deep knowledge of the restaurant and hospitality sectors. Finally, RobotLAB renewed its master distributor agreement with United
Robotics Group (URG), ensuring the NAO and Pepper robots are equipped with top-tier software and curricula, and sold, integrated, serviced and repaired via RobotLAB’s best-in-class processes, as they have been since 2009.
Numerous 2023 industry accolades further underscored RobotLAB’s standing as the market leader for robotic solutions and reinforce its reputation as a go-to robotics partner. Last year, the company collected several prominent honors, including LATF Daytime Beauty: Innovator of the Year, Franchise Journal: Top Brands of 2023, QSR Magazine: Digital Disruptor, ICX Elevate: Customer Experience Excellence Award and D CEO & Dallas Innovates: Innovation Award Finalist.
RobotLAB is well-positioned to continue its impressive momentum in 2024 and beyond, thanks to significant portfolio expansion, a bevy of high-profile strategic partnerships and an already successful and attractive franchising opportunity introduced in 2023.
Since 2007, RobotLAB has guided businesses to dramatic bottom-line increases by helping them harness and leverage the immense power of automation. Catering to an array of economically critical industries that span education, finance, healthcare, delivery and hospitality, RobotLAB provides robotic business solutions that improve ROI and enhance the user experience. With a multitude of in-house teams and department specialists, the company remains focused on a seamless integration process that begins with an in-depth assessment of client needs. Sales and delivery experts ensure proper product immersion while implementation and installation professionals ensure peak performance. In a world replete with business uncertainties, RobotLAB ensures operational consistency through technology. In 2023, RobotLAB launched the first robotics integration franchise program to best serve growing demand for robotics across the U.S. in nearly all business sectors.