Is the convenience of having valuable machine data sent from your robot to your smart phone worth the security risk?
@matthewd92 Thank you for your answer! Would you mind giving a few pros about putting your robots on the cloud? Any comments about setting up your robots on the cloud?
@Tyler_Berryman With our business model its very important to us to be able to monitor our robots no matter where they are running so we find it very beneficial. AWe are able to share the data that we are collecting off of the robot with our customers as real-time, production data so that they know exactly how the robot is producing for them at any given time, no matter where in the world they are.The other thing that it has allowed us to do is be able to control the robots via the cloud as well. So if we have a firm that is running lights out and they see the robot start to do something we can give them the ability to stop/pause the program from their phone. This can allow them to prevent the robot from producing scrap or doing something that they do not want. Also, it makes it easier when robots are programmed to do multiple tasks. The operator is able to use the mobile device to tell the robot what task it needs to be performing. We keep this safe by requiring a 2 step process that validates that the operator is standing beside the robot when the change is made.Another benefit of getting the robots into the cloud and a mobile app is allowing the robots to have a voice, letting the robots in plain language tell the operators when there is a problem so that the operator can take action. This allows the operators to be able to move away from the robot and perform other tasks but still be notified immediately when action needs to be taken to keep the robot productive such as adding more material, or removing the work that has been completed. By using mobile it also gives us the ability to engage the customer in chat, anytime there is an issue they are able to discuss it in the app and can involve us as much as needed in the conversation. Everyone at the company with access to the App can be kept in the loop about what is going on in production. This makes operations more efficient not only in producing parts but communicating within the company about whats going on.We have seen a lot of benefit in increasing the amount of transparency around production, letting the sales guy who's sitting with the customer know precisely what is happening without having to play phone tag with the production staff.
@matthewd92 Thank you very much for the detailed response. It sounds like you have invested a lot of time and effort to integrate robots within the cloud. Has the added value of sharing production data with customers in real-time helped in adding new clients to your business? Have your existing clients been hesitant with the addition of their robots to the cloud?Have you noticed if certain brands of robots are easier to integrate with cloud robotics applications? And what products have aided you in the process of connecting robots to the cloud?Finally, what advances in cloud robotics would you like to see in the coming years?
@Tyler_Berryman Our business is built around cloud robotics so all of our customers have their robots in the cloud. Since we maintain ownership of the robot, our business model is robots as a service (RaaS), the customers do not have any of their own equipment in the cloud per se. We use cellular connectivity so that we are not intruding into our customer IT infrastructure. Currently we are only using UR but we built our system to be robot agnostic for the most part. We have tapped into some of the subsystems of the UR which gives us more detailed info then we might be able to get from other robots but at a bare minimum we can connect any robot to our system.As far as systems aiding us, everything we have built is unique to us other than we are using some SaaS and PaaS applications that help us to build out our infrastructure but we keep a lot of that hidden behind the scenes since thats our IP.As far as advances, we are more interested in getting additional products to stream their data so that we can capture it such as Robotiq grippers, it would be nice to capture event data as well as streaming diagnostics data from the gripper. If we ever start to use the FT sensors we would want similar functionality there but it sounds like that one may have more data coming off it already.
Having out UR connected means we can see detailed shift reports as well as notification if the line is down. We are using an eWON wireless system with ours, I'm not sure if that counts as "the cloud" but it's up there floating on something.
@tylermartin I would consider this as having your robots connected to the cloud! What type of data are you guys looking at in your shift reports?
@xamla_oliver would you like to share a few of your concerns about connecting your robots to the cloud? Another user may have overcome some of the issues that are concerning you.