Simbe Robotics announced this week that it has brought on digital manufacturer Fast Radius to help it build its autonomous retail intelligence robot, Tally 3. San Francisco-based Simbe added that the partnership has helped it avoid some supply chain challenges and save more than $30,0000 in engineering costs.
Owen Davies, director of hardware engineering at Simbe Robotics, told Robotics 24/7 that Fast Radius is supplying the company with plastics, sheet metal, aluminum, and stainless steel. Tally 3 is the company’s flagship product and is used to check inventory in grocery stores.
“Prior to engaging with Fast Radius, and prior to Tally 3, which is our latest production model, we built robots in-house, and we engaged with a multitude of prototype houses in China,” he said. “[They were] very small shops that are able to make low quantities, machining prototype sheet metal that wasn’t always of consistent quality.”
A one-stop shop
With Fast Radius, Simbe Robotics is able to get it all done with one supplier, which enables it to operate more efficiently, Davies noted.
“Having a one-stop shop is huge for us,” he said. “It gives us the ability to not waste resources on vendor management. When you’re managing a sheet metal house, and a machining vendor, and a plastic vendor, which are almost always different vendors, there’s a lot of overhead head involved in managing those relationships.”
Chicago-based Fast Radius makes a cloud manufacturing platform it said was developed to “integrate design, production and fulfillment operations through a common digital infrastructure to make manufacturing easier, more accessible, and more sustainable.”
Bobby Bott, Fast Radius’ executive vice president of manufacturing, told Robotics 24/7 the company strives on operating flexibly to meet customer demands. Fast Radius is able to act nimbly and take advantage of a number resources to source materials, he said.
Bott added that Fast Radius’ platform has helped companies bring products to market more quickly.
“Given the current and sustained supply chain disruptions felt across industries, when we were looking to accelerate production of our Tally robots, it was critical for us to find a partner who could keep costs low while delivering on the quality and durability that you typically only get from high-volume manufacturing,” Simbe's Davies said in a statement.
“Working with Fast Radius, we’ve been able to deploy nearly 200 robots globally with industrial-grade quality, all while staying agile enough to continue innovating,” he added. “Having a flexible and reliable supply chain through Fast Radius has helped us grow our business and widely distribute Tally robots.”
“The robotics industry is a uniquely innovative space, and Simbe is positioned to revolutionize how work is done with robots that automate tasks to increase productivity and accuracy,” stated Bott. “We’re excited to support businesses like Simbe that are bringing these advanced robots to the market and to enable their growth through our Cloud Manufacturing Platform.”
About the Author
Cesareo Contreras is associate editor at Robotics 24/7. Prior to working at Peerless Media, he was an award-winning reporter at the Metrowest Daily News and Milford Daily News in Massachusetts. Contreras is a graduate of Framingham State University and has a keen interest in the human side of emerging technologies.
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