Robots are the talk of the town. They have spread their spectrum in different industries and applications globally. From retail to manufacturing and healthcare, robots are complementing almost every activity which humans perform. That too at a spectacular speed and efficiency. With the explosive growth in cloud-based storage, computing and artificial intelligence (AI), robots-as-a-service (RaaS) business models are gaining a lot of traction worldwide.
RaaS model offers highly adaptable business solutions to different customers with a variety of tasks and options. They can be used as rental or lease-purchase options depending on the needs of customers. Robots enable companies to complete more work done in a shorter time through virtual agents. RaaS can be leveraged on the cloud to integrate embedded devices into web and computing environments. They are highly reliant upon high capacity, and low-latency computing environment.
RaaS has proved to be a blessing to different sectors including manufacturing which requires heavy operational work in warehouses, plants and distribution centers. The RaaS model is becoming commonplace in the agricultural sector as well. Agricultural robots and drones are used in a variety of tasks. According to Idtechex.com, the Agricultural robots and drones market is expected to reach US$12 billion by 2026. In the healthcare industry, robots are performing operations, interact with patients and check on their health to suggest further appointments.
The combination of AI and robotics has already awed everyone with the development of humanoid Sophia. AI not only allows robots to operate independently but give them the programmable power to make decisions with the flinch of an eye. The data captured by robots in different industries and services can be stored in the cloud. This data can be further used in mass setups where a fleet of robots are required. This enables companies to improve productivity at minimal costs, build a smart business network and let employees focus on high-value tasks.
Companies operating on RaaS model provide customers with services more responsive than long-cycle and capital-intensive purchases. It helps the customers save upfront investments and operating expenses before venturing into any highly operational business. RaaS firms also benefit from value-based pricing, faster innovation cycle and close connection with the product-market fit. Some of the known names employing RaaS business models include Liquid Robotics, InTouch Health, PrecisionHawk, and InVia Robotics.
This growth in RaaS is supported by macroeconomic trends that favor productivity solutions which avoid huge capital expenditure and mostly dependent upon 5G and MEC. According to an IDC report, by 2019, 30% of commercial service robotic applications will be in the form of a “Robot-as-a-Service” business model, reducing costs for robot deployment. The report further estimates that by 2020, 60% of robots will depend on cloud-based software to define new skills, AI capabilities, and application programs, leading to the formation of a robotics cloud marketplace.
The emergence of RaaS represents a broader move to services-based models in the technological landscape. These models have the fastest growth potential for adoption and offer an attractive value proposition to different industries and businesses. Needless to say, RaaS is going to accelerate innovation thus disrupting and changing the state of business operations in many industries globally.