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Malcolm Kerr
Director of Business Operations and Strategy  
Wednesday, April 28, 2021

How is Formic Different from other Robot-as-a-Service Companies?

Robotics-as-a-service is a hot and growing space, and continues to rise in popularity due to its flexibility, scalability, and low barrier to entry. In fact, ABI Research predicts that there will be 1.3 million installations of RaaS by 2026. This is quite a significant number when you consider that there are only approximately 2.7 million robots at work in factories today. I wrote a blog post delving into this a few weeks ago that you can find here

One question I often receive: how is Formic different from other RaaS providers? It’s a good question - particularly when RaaS continues to evolve and redefine itself. At first glance, a lot of RaaS offerings sound very similar, but there are some core differences across companies and offering types.

The big difference between Formic’s model and other RaaS companies is that Formic deploys equipment from any manufacturer of robotics equipment. Most other RaaS companies are equipment manufacturers themselves, and focus on a specific task or set of tasks. These companies are great options for applications within their specific domains. Their growth and success is validation that the manufacturing sector is ready for a more flexible and scalable approach to deploying automation.

Recognizing the need for more flexibility, some large robotics manufacturers are introducing more flexible financing options for their equipment. However, this does not cover the engineering work and ancillary equipment (sensors, grippers) that go into an actual deployment.

We built Formic to take RaaS to the next level. Oftentimes, manufacturers do not know the exact type of equipment that will be best suited to their needs. By being open to any OEM, we can help our customers find the best tool for the job. We only charge a low hourly rate on system uptime, meaning that all of the scoping and consulting work on the front end comes at no cost to the end user. 

We can also take advantage of cutting-edge robotics technologies as they come to market, regardless of which manufacturer the tool comes from. This positions us to deliver incredible value in these upcoming years, where innovation continues to shape the present and future of robotics.

To learn more about which types of applications are best suited for automation, please read this post from our VP of Robotics and Co-founder, Misa Ilkhechi.

Here is a post I wrote about robots-as-a-service, and how it differs from the traditional method of deploying automation.

If you’re interested in learning more about Formic’s “robot-as-a-service” model, please click this link to get in touch, and follow us on LinkedIn!