Qobotix coordinates automation between manufacturers’ existing robots to boost productivity, lower costs
VENTURA, Calif.—A new universal AI operating system developed by Qobotix is reported to transform collaborative robots (cobots) into intelligent co-workers that interact with and learn from humans and other robots on the manufacturing floor. Qobotix recently unveiled the technology after two years of R&D, including active installations of the OS industrial appliance at major auto manufacturers, the company said in a release.
Qobotix OS is an agnostic plug-and-play technology that is powered by proprietary AI, machine vision, and kinematics. Just as Android OS and Apple iOS offer application platforms that run on smartphones, the Qobotix OS platform coordinates industrial automation between manufacturers’ existing robots, enabling intelligent factory applications to perform complex tasks that were considered only possible by humans, the company said.
Qobotix also offers complete robot stations that can be deployed rapidly for different tasks on manufacturing lines. The company is seeking early adopters of its technology and aims to distribute 20-50 robot stations in the first year with deployment, training, and testing that can be done on the same day.
Manufacturers can use Qobotix OS to boost their manufacturing productivity, reduce costs, and simplify manufacturing processes like precision inspection, picking, packing, and assembly tasks. Qobotix Cloud provides a factory management platform with a centralized repository of work intelligence that can be shared between machines. Manufacturers can leverage the intelligence to manage production analytics and provide managers with deep analysis of robotic performance, the company said.
One of Qobotix’s central innovations is that it enables robots to learn independently. Humans can train robots by interacting with them and robots can learn from other robots, unlike existing industrial robots that are pre-programmed to perform only one task. This capacity enables robots to be programmed in hours or days, rather than weeks.
The Covid-19 pandemic is causing companies to re-examine their reliance on offshore production and seek more flexible, localized manufacturing options. Qobotix helps companies become better equipped to meet these new conditions and move away from inflexible factory designs and manufacturing processes. With Qobotix, factories have the flexibility to quickly adapt manufacturing processes. They can use cobots to switch between projects more easily and produce at a high volume for a shorter time, while keeping workers safe through social distancing, the company said.
Qobotix (www.qobotix.com) is the brainchild of Avi Reichental, a 3D printing pioneer and long-time industry veteran; Egor Korneev, a serial entrepreneur and a pioneer in the field of machine learning and vision systems; and George Votis, the chairman, CEO, and founder of Galt Industries, Inc.
“During our many years involved in industrial manufacturing, we experienced robots that were meant to be collaborative and quickly concluded they were not like that at all—they couldn’t see or hear, and they were very inflexible,” said Reichental in the release.
The team recognized a major gap in the market and decided to develop their own technology with the aim of bringing vision and intelligence to collaborative robots, freeing humans from repetitive tasks to enable them to achieve more complex and strategic roles.
“Our aim is to take robotics out of the late 1990s with the Qobotix operating system,” said Qobotix co-founder and CEO Egor Korneev. “In the early 2000s, hardware companies dominated the mobile phone and device markets and the mobile applications ecosystem was weak with no common OS options. The advent of iOS and Android led to an explosion in mobile software applications based on open OS platforms. We are now in a similar place with cobots, with Qobotix offering a universal operating system for industrial robots driven by AI as a platform for automation applications.”
“Qobotix marks a milestone in the manufacturing and services industries,” said Reichental. “Qobotix changes the game for manufacturing and services by eliminating time-consuming processes, such as programming, to significantly lower costs and increase output. This presents a huge opportunity for all manufacturers in their everyday operations.”
“Qobotix offers a strong return on investment by freeing up people for higher level tasks,” said Qobotix co-founder George Votis. “With Qobotix, robots can more easily collaborate with each other, and allow manufacturers to deploy production stations within different production lines each day, saving time and costs while boosting productivity.”