Formic’s software is based on data and experience gathered from real production time across the Formic robot fleet, from state-of the-art Fortune 500 production facilities to small, 30-person local manufacturing plants. (Photo courtesy Formic)

Formic’s intuitive, AI-powered robotic automation software is said to simplify technology adoption and empower existing workforces. .

CHICAGO—A suite of software tools released by Formic Technologies is reported 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.

Formic Technologies is a provider of robotics-as-a-service (RaaS) automation for U.S. manufacturers. Its 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, the company said in a release.

The Formic Core operating system is said to make working with robotic automation as easy as using one’s smartphone, Apple CarPlay, or Netflix. The intuitive multi-language touchscreen UI allows all existing employees to operate Formic robots and program the equipment to meet production needs—all without any advanced training, according to Formic. 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, and cycle times, the company said.

“As the labor shortage continues to impact U.S. 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, in the release. “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. According to Formic, this enables 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 release said.

The Formic FAST (Formic Automation Specification Tools) 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 is said to provide 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 Lux Capital General Partner Shahin Farshchi, in the release. “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.”