Business in Focus first visited IAM Robotics in March 2019, detailing its growth and that of the robotics industry in general, in the article, IAM Robotics Brings Innovative Solutions and Awareness to Burgeoning Industry. At the time, author William Young noted, “Technology is necessary today to keep businesses sustainable and competitive within a new marketplace.”
Mr. Young interviewed IAM Robotics again this October, in the midst of what Senior Vice President of Commercialization, Rich Flati, characterizes as “a remarkably interesting year.” While it isn’t clear just how representative this year will be of the future, the industry as a whole seems to agree that at least some of the changes brought by COVID-19 are here to stay.
Flexibility and Forward-Thinking FTW
IAM Robotics’ has always maintained a forward-thinking approach, keeping in mind things that could happen (disruptions, interruptions, and worse) so solutions are flexible and successful. As Young puts it, “Flexibility is part of what has made IAM Robotics a top name in its field for the past eight years, and, moving into its ninth year in 2021, its solutions are hugely improving efficiency for both its established customers and the new ones.”
IAM Not Growing, You’re Growing
Since Business in Focus’ initial article in early 2019, IAM Robotics has more than tripled in size but remains “acutely sensitive” to maintaining the start-up workplace culture that co-founders Tom Galluzzo and Vladimir Altman envisioned from the beginning.
Major growth areas include additions to the software department, with engineers focused on robots and fleet management capabilities; development of larger robot systems involving complex coordination; and additions to the solutions engineering department. Most impressively, IAM Robotics just opened an all-new facility that’s significantly increased the company’s testing and manufacturing areas and provides space for high-volume assembly lines.
In addition to further developing Swift—the company’s autonomous mobile manipulation (AMMR) solution—IAM Robotics is releasing Bolt—an autonomous mobile robot (AMR). Both Swift and Bolt are built on the Bolt AMR platform, which is at the forefront of the company’s focus because of its versatility. From the beginning, IAM Robotics envisioned Bolt as a modular and flexible platform, providing manufacturing and warehouse facilities an adaptable solution that scales with normal operational changes.
Even More Nuts and Bolts to Come
Swift and Bolt are just the tip of the iceberg for IAM Robotics because this team never quits. Wes Reid, Senior Vice President of Product and Operation, also teased that the company is conceptualizing an all-new product that fills the gaps between Swift—a robot built for “pure individual piece-picking”—and Bolt—“a heavy-duty bulk material transport platform. The new robot will focus on carton and tote handling, and the IAM Robotics team has great expectations for this third product line that leverages the functionality of Bolt as its platform.
Realizing Robotics Benefits
Flati notes that the company’s robust product line helps it stand out in the industry, especially when combined with the way IAM Robotics engages with prospective customers. IAM Robotics works to incorporate its products into existing buildings, using ‘sensitivity analysis’ to determine how their robots will perform under both normal and potential operating conditions over their lifetime at both non-peak and peak volumes.
“Part of this analysis,” Flati says, “is explaining to potential customers why investing in new types of automation is a better long-term investment than any other solution.” He goes on to say, “[I] hope customers within the robotics space do not look at investing in technology through a narrow set of future operating conditions, but instead view the future more broadly, accepting solutions that can work in unplanned-for situations.”
Transform into the Warehouse of the Future with IAM Robotics
The burdens of COVID-19 have altered both the course and importance of robotics and automation processes. People and organizations have shifted their ways of doing things in order to adapt, and it’s amazing to see what we can accomplish. IAM Robotics takes up the charge to help your company pivot and succeed under challenging circumstances. Transform your warehouse with robotics to meet customer demand and keep our world turning.
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