Robots allow manufacturers to operate more cheaply. But robots themselves aren’t cheap, limiting the ability of small manufacturers to compete with larger companies or win back business from overseas. A Baltimore startup thinks it has a solution: robots as a service.
Industrial robots typically sell for $75,000 or more, a significant capital outlay. And that price tag escalates dramatically with operational costs. Ready Robotics, a startup housed in City Garage, a Baltimore center for makers, charges $1,500 to $4,000 a month for use of one of its robots, called the TaskMate. The TaskMate is easy to program and move around a factory floor. That suits it for the short production runs on which many small manufacturers survive.
Kelleher Guerin developed the underlying technology for TaskMate while working on his PhD.