New Companies and Innovative Technology Projected to Expand Robot and AI Capabilities in 2022

January 01, 2022 by Sara McCaslin

What does 2022 hold for engineers and automation experts? Let's look at the latest mergers and advancements in AI and robotics infrastructure, development, and applications.

Learn about several companies and their efforts to bring robotic technology and digital transformation into the new year. 


Robotic Start-up Symbotic Gains Traction

Symbotic is a robotic start-up company specializing in AI-enabled technology platforms for consumer goods supply chains. Their software platform is the first of its kind, engineered to conduct teams of autonomous “Symbot” robots that can receive, retrieve, and store products. Symbotic’s better-known customers include Albertsons, CF&S Wholesale Grocers, and Walmart. 

The Symbotic platform offers several benefits, including reduced waste and damage, more efficient transportation of products, and easy integration into existing systems. In addition, it provides high accuracy, increases SKUs available for use, high-speed package transportation speeds, and the potential for higher storage density.


A warehouse at Symbotic. Image used courtesy of Symbotic


Symbotic already holds more than 250 patents and is rapidly growing beyond a start-up company. Its value has been estimated at a pro forma equity value of $5.5 Billion. It has been recently announced that it will become a public company through a strategic partnership with SoftBank

Commenting on the merger, Symbotic Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rick Cohen stated, “Now is the time to take Symbotic to the next level. SoftBank has tremendous experience investing in leading-edge artificial intelligence and robotics innovators, and our partnership with them will provide us with new insights, relationships, and capital that will help us realize our full potential.”


Amazon Launches AWS RoboRunner to Support Robotics Apps

Amazon recently launched the AWS IoT RobotRunner, a service to better support advanced robotic fleet management when different types of robots (including those with various vendors) are being utilized. Unlike AWS RoboMaker, IoT RobotRunner provides the necessary infrastructure to manage robots using a single system view.


AWS IoT RoboRunner promises seamless interaction between robotic fleets and better integration with work management systems. Image used courtesy of AWS


AWS IoT RobotRunner, which is built on the same software that Amazon fulfillment centers are using, will make it easier for users to implement diverse fleets of robots and ensure that they can work together seamlessly and integrate them with work management systems. 

This new software from Amazon can help engineers build optimized applications that will work across fleets of robotics, including autonomous guided vehicles (AGVs), autonomous mobile robots (AMRs), and different types of robotic manipulators. It also significantly reduces the time and effort involved with software integration and connecting work management systems to robotic control software.  

AWS IoT RoboRunner also provides a centralized data repository of enterprise and robot management system data. This repository allows users to manage robotics through a centralized work management system architecture instead of isolated silos.


InOrbit Launches Developer Portal, Expands RobOps Ecosystem

InOrbit, an industry leader in cloud-based robot operations software, recently announced the launch of a developer portal and the expansion of their operations software, RobOps. The developer portal, which is available for free, includes tools such as SDKs (Software Development Kits), API (Application Programming Interface), and no-code embed along with links to useful open-source solutions. In addition, the InOrbit Free Edition allows the developer portal to take advantage of infrastructure tools.


The InOrbit architecture is summarized above. Image used courtesy of InOrbit


Also, RobOps expanded to become the InOrbit EcoSystem, a group of companies that offer complementary products and services. These services include solutions for spatial intelligence, processing IoT sensor data, routing algorithms, and cloud integration. Key members of the InOrbit EcoSystem include industry leaders such as Qualcomm Technologies, Next Generation Robotics, 634 AI, and WiBotic. The InOrbit EcoSystem will ensure that tools and solutions for specialized needs are available to efficiently and comprehensively enhance robotic fleet capabilities.

In the new year, engineers can hopefully look forward to better tools for implementing robotic fleets, including various types and manufacturers. This includes developer environments, APIs, and SDKs, as well as the ability to integrate robotic fleet management with work management systems. 

Advanced ecosystems, such as those developed by InOrbit, will also multiply. Also ahead will be more start-up companies such as Symbotic making a move to public trading.