Deploying a Robotic Workforce: Universal Robots and Yaskawa Motoman Partner with RaaS Company

February 27, 2023 by Caitlin Nicholson

Universal Robots and Yaskawa Motoman partnered with the Robotics as a Service (RaaS) company Rapid Robotics earlier this month to deliver robotic automation to a greater market share.

Universal Robots and Yaskawa Motoman partnered with the Robotics as a Service (RaaS) company Rapid Robotics this past month. Learn more about the robotic workforce company and how they aim to “democratize” robotic automation.   

Rapid Robotics, a robotic workforce company

Rapid Robotics, a “robotic workforce company” at ATX West 2023.


Robotics as a Service (RaaS)

Like any subscription-based service, whether television, sports, or software, subscribers pay a recurring fee (often monthly or annual) and receive a product or solution in return—with RaaS, companies can rent robots instead of buying them outright. 

RaaS allows companies, especially smaller and medium companies, to take advantage of robotics without making significant capital investments or having the headache of deployment, maintenance, and redeployment, essentially paying a recurring fee for a “robotic worker.”

A robotic worker can take on the three ‘Ds’ of automation (dull, dirty, and dangerous tasks) to allow companies to augment their workers to more “human-centric” and difficult jobs. RaaS is especially appealing when considering skilled workers like robotic technicians are expensive and difficult to find.


Who is Rapid Robotics?

Rapid Robotics is a US-based company with a RaaS business model. The company’s mission is to make robotic automation accessible for small to medium-sized companies that may not have the capital or skilled staff for the purchase, deployment, and maintenance of a robot.


So, Why Not Just Buy a Robot?

Meeting with the Rapid Robotics team at ATX West, I wanted to learn more about the RaaS business model and why companies might consider renting a robot rather than buying one outright. 


RaaS for small to mid sized companies who lack capital and skill

RaaS is especially appealing to small to medium-sized companies who may lack capital or skill.


Rather than being thought of as a RaaS company, Rapid Robotics’ Chief Marketing Officer, Kim Losey, offered an alternative way of thinking of Rapid Robotics—as a “robotic workforce company.” With a lower labor rate for renting Rapid Robotics’ robots over an employee (a rate that can go as low as $6/hour, according to the pamphlet they gave me at ATX), Rapid Robotics provides cheap labor. 

Additionally, Rapid Robotics handles the setup and maintenance of their robots, which gives companies the benefits of robotics without the overhead. Using a process consisting of just 2-3 weeks of assessment, design, and proposal, followed by on-site deployment, which can sometimes be as low as just 4-8 hours, and around-the-clock customer service and support, Rapid Robotics also provides low-maintenance labor.

According to Rapid Robotics, companies can expect a quicker return on investment with its robotic workforce than purchasing a robot or relying solely on human labor.


Rapid Robotics and Universal Robots partnership

Rapid Robotics and Universal Robots aim to make robotics more accessible to smaller and medium-sized companies. Image used courtesy of Universal Robots


Partnering with Powerhouses

At the beginning of February, Rapid Robotics announced a partnership with Universal Robots. Together, the two companies aim to make robotics more accessible. Universal Robots will provide its cobots to Rapid Robotics for speedy deployment across the US, giving Rapid Robotics access to untapped potential in applications.

Rapid Robotics also recently partnered with Yaskawa Motoman, which opened up the deployment of industrial robots to the company. With the ability to deploy the full robotic offerings at Yaskawa, Rapid Robotics can now provide companies with stronger and faster robotic automation than before.  


Robots in the Workforce

Rapid Robotics aims to make robotic automation more accessible to companies who may not have the capital or skill to purchase, deploy, and maintain a robot. Rapid Robotics’ recent partnerships with Universal Robots and Yaskawa open up a greater portfolio and power of robots that can be deployed in the workforce.