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InOrbit 2021: a year in review

By Team InOrbit

This past year saw major changes for InOrbit, and we couldn’t be happier with the results. Through experiment-led development, lots of trial and error, and some great connections with our friends and family in the robotics community (that’s all of you), we’ve made our platform more accessible, and robust for our users.

As 2021 comes to a close we are taking time to look back and reflect, if only for a few minutes on the year that was, and highlight some of our successes.

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Why we're giving developers the tools to build better robots

Julian Cerruti

In the beginning...

I entered the robotics world 10 years ago, thanks to an opportunity from Willow Garage and its outstanding people. I joined them from the world of enterprise software with the goal of helping to bring robotics research into the world with production-ready solutions.

I fell in love with the humanity and professional excellence of the robotics engineers I worked with, and the interesting challenge of creating tools to make our lives easier.

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Tales from the con: A3 AMR & Logistics conference 2021

Diego May

It was really great to be part of the A3 AMR & Logistics conference this year.

The conference had the usual good presentations and panels, but the exhibitor’s floor was where robot and technology manufacturers met to discuss the latest technologies and innovations in this nascent field of robotics. This conference in particular, being held in Memphis, saw the almost overshadowing presence of FedEx in attendance. But through the different panels and visitors on the exhibition floor, it became crystal clear to us that the “end user” is definitely considering operations as they think about how to deploy diverse robotics technologies in the field. This confirms that our drive to promote effective RobOps is working.

The topic of interoperability was a part of several different presentations this year, which showed a growing understanding from enterprises and robot vendors about how interoperability is the next important step to take the industry to the next level.

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Going ROG: Why Robot Operations Got a Manifesto

Florian Pestoni

The term manifesto is usually reserved for political or artistic declarations around the intentions, motives or views of an individual or group, but in recent years the technology world has seen its share of manifestos from various groups.

Explanation of a new technology, term, or the goals of such a group are seen in manifestos such as the GNU Manifesto (1985), The Hacker Manifesto (1986), The Third Manifesto (1995), and The Agile Manifesto (2001), which fundamentally changed how software is built.

It is in that spirit that we founded the Robot Operations Group (ROG - pronounced “rogue”) with a group of robotics leaders and have just released the Robot Operations Manifesto. The ROG’s mission is to further the creation of best practices for robot operations at scale. We felt that, while there are already many places to learn about how to build a robot, when it comes to the challenges that emerge when growing from 50 to 5,000 robots, there just wasn’t a venue for discussion and learning.

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The Next Steps in our RobOps Journey

Florian Pestoni

Today, InOrbit announced our latest funding news, with $2.6 million in seed round funding to help us on our goal to support 1 million robots that will positively impact the lives of 1 billion people.

We started InOrbit more than 2 years ago to help accelerate the adoption of robotics at scale. At the time, there were no good platforms to manage fleets of robots in the field, and most companies had to cobble together tools that were hard to maintain, and often didn’t work as their fleet grew.

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InOrbit and Qualcomm Robotics RB3 platform

Florian Pestoni

Our goal is to put every robot in orbit around the cloud to help accelerate the adoption of robotics across industries. Today we are one important step closer to that goal.

At RoboBusiness, the premier commercial robotics trade show for business executives, we announced that the Qualcomm® Robotics RB3 development kit will have pre-integrated support for InOrbit’s cloud platform. This advanced development kit is based on the powerful Qualcomm SDA845 SoC. This allows robotics developers to create autonomous robots for the most challenging applications.

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