Back to Blog

Mission critical

By Team InOrbit

Our newly announced partnership with Barcodes, and the launch of the InOrbit Warehouse Automation (IOWA) solution has generated a lot of excitement in the industry. As we developed IOWA over the past few months, we identified several key features that were essential to the success of the product. The most significant feature of IOWA is undoubtedly InOrbit missions. 

Mission tracking, previously available only to select customers during development, is now available with InOrbit Standard Edition. This flexible tool is a platform feature that enables comprehensive data analytics, robot fleet observability and optimizations for effective end-to-end mission management. The InOrbit missions dashboard empowers operators with a complete picture of their robot fleet. 


Missions address the needs of operators in the field. Defining missions for robots, dispatching them as part of a workflow, and analyzing their performance is key to the InOrbit Warehouse Automation solution. In a warehouse setting missions may be fixed, such as taking a pallet from a palletization cell to a cargo bay, or dynamic, for example, to optimally visit all the pick points required to complete an order. Whether it’s triggering missions in a distribution center or moving material to a production line, interacting with doors and elevators, or sweeping the floor on a fixed schedule, missions drive the behavior of robots in the warehouse.

John Simmons, InOrbit's Head of Product, discussed the importance of missions in a recent interview. “Our customers buy robots because they need to make something operate more efficiently. A core RobOps principle says that measuring what you’re doing and improving through iteration is how you drive greater efficiency. Mission tracking is a measure of the success or failure for a complete set of work that's been given to a robot. Missions give our customers insights into the performance of their robotic fleets that they need in order to uncover ways to improve their operational efficiency.”

As the leader in AMR interoperability, InOrbit is able to visualize any robot’s mission across vendors, tasks and sites in a single, unified format distinguishing missions from other analytics tools. The award-winning InOrbit Connect program, and support for emerging interoperability standards like VDA-5050, Open-RMF and MassRobotics AMR Interop, alongside integrations with top commercial fleet management software from robot vendors like Mobile Industrial Robots, Omron and OTTO Motors means mission analytics can be truly comprehensive across various automation. Beyond visualizing fleet status and health missions shows robot tasks and overall performance, in a single pane of glass.

When asked about the most exciting feature of missions, John Simmons had a very specific answer. “Missions are pre-populated with time bounding in our Time Capsule feature. This is incredibly helpful because it allows users to use Missions alongside Fleet as their highest-level dashboard. From there an operator can easily see if they need to dive in and investigate any autonomy incident in more detail. With one click they can jump directly into Time Capsule for all of the rich information about the surrounding context and data of a mission. It’s such an easy way to get directly to the rich value that Time Capsule can deliver for a time period that you know is measurable. Because an operator knows exactly what the impact is when a mission doesn’t finish.”

We’ll be exploring missions more in the days and weeks ahead. We plan to publish the complete behind the scene interview with InOrbit Head of Product John Simmons exploring what it took to bring missions to InOrbit shortly. And readers can expect more technical coverage of missions soon, including how to configure missions like a pro and how to take advantage of missions to drive fleet optimization. 

Reach out if you’d like more information on missions or any InOrbit feature. We’re excited to continue bringing the industry's best robot operations tools to our users.