Automation continues to expand, even as U.S. unemployment remains at historic lows. For more businesses to adopt robots, people need to be comfortable working with them. To that end, InOrbit Inc. today announced the grand opening of the InOrbit Robot Space in Mountain View, Calif.
The community space, product showroom, and concept store is intended to show visitors the latest autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) in action and InOrbit's cloud-based robot operations (RobOps) software. Visitors can also see robots perform tasks such as restocking merchandise and delivering customer orders.
“Our goal is to demystify and raise awareness of the real-world application of robots,” said Florian Pestoni, co-founder and CEO of InOrbit. “We’re excited to exhibit robots from our partners like OTTO Motors and other industry leaders.”
“This is a space for the robotics community at large to learn and advance the state of the art in robot operations,” he added. “It’s also a place for everyone else—from kids to older adults—to experience how robots can help with everyday chores.”
InOrbit addresses RobOps needs
“Amazon is adding about a thousand robots a day,” according to Cathie Wood, chief investment officer and CEO of Ark Invest, as reported by CNBC.
“If you compare the number of robots Amazon has to the number of employees, it’s about a third,” she noted. “And we believe that by the year 2030, Amazon can have more robots than employees.”
However, job growth has not yet been adversely affected by economic headwinds, said the U.S. Department of Labor. Corporate decision-makers and the general public need to understand the potential of robotics to help them, said InOrbit.
The company said its multi-cloud platform “enables efficient robot operations and provides observability through secure, real-time analytics and data collection, robot performance monitoring, incident response, and root-cause analysis.”
The InOrbit Connect certification program allows end users across industries to orchestrate robots and optimize productivity for multiple tasks, claimed the company.
Decision makers can observe orchestration in real time
Whether in person or remotely with multiple live-streaming cameras, decision makers can see robots from different vendors working together in real time at the InOrbit Robot Space. The company said its ability to “orchestrate multi-vendor robot fleets at scale through a single pane of glass is what sets InOrbit apart.”
Robotics companies that are part of the InOrbit Connect ecosystem will also be able to showcase their robots in a realistic, scaled-down environment.
“We are happy to participate in the InOrbit Robot Space launch and are excited at the prospect of seeing our robots working in this new community space,” said Jay Judkowitz, vice president of product at OTTO Motors. “InOrbit has been a great partner to OTTO Motors and shares our vision of bringing industry-leading robots and operations to life automating the world's dullest, dirtiest, and deadliest jobs.”
Robot Space to host organization meetings
InOrbit will host Women in Robotics (WiR), Silicon Valley Robotics (SVR), and Robot Operations Group (ROG) meetings at the Robot Space.
“In order to remain competitive, we need more high school girls and undergrad women to choose career paths in computer science and engineering,” said Andra Keay, president of Women in Robotics and managing director of Silicon Valley Robotics. “The InOrbit Robot Space will be a great location for SVR and WiR events, helping attendees connect with successful women in robotics and get hands-on experience with the latest in robotics and robot operations.”
“The Silicon Valley-based members of ROG will now have a place to meet in real life,” said Joe Wieciek, director of technical operations at Outrider and co-founder of the Robot Operations Group.
“As a community for robot operations experts, we had a hugely successful RobOpsCon in 2022 and continue to meet throughout the year,” he said. “We appreciate InOrbit’s support as a founding sponsor and community host.”
Pestoni is co-founder of the Robot Operations Group, which meets regularly online and in person to discuss RobOps.
Robot space open to the public
Popular notions about robots are often shaped by sci-fi movies or outdated ideas about industrial automation, said InOrbit. In addition to showcasing the latest technology and selling merchandise for all ages, the InOrbit Robot Space aims to educate the public on the role of modern robots in everyday life.
Visitors can experience firsthand how the latest robots use artificial intelligence, sensors, and software to intelligently navigate around obstacles and carry out their missions, said the company.
To make the topic more accessible to all, the company has appointed its mascot known as “Orbito” as community ambassador. The robot avatar’s role is to connect with burgeoning roboticists of all ages. 3D figures as well as T-shirts and other items featuring Orbito will be available for sale.
The InOrbit Robot Space will also be available for community events, meetups, and educational talks, allowing people to work with real robots, explore RobOps best practices, and learn about the orchestration of diverse robot fleets in real-world scenarios.
The InOrbit Robot Space is located at 293 Castro St. in Mountain View, Calif. Operating hours are Monday through Friday from noon to 6:00 p.m. PT, starting on Feb 20.