IRaas Project Journal Publication
Congratulations to our IRaaS project team on their recent journal publication.
We are delighted to announce that Dr Achim Buerkle, Dr Will Eaton, Dr Ali Al-Yacoub, Dr Melanie Zimmer, Prof Michael Henshaw, Dr Matt Coombes, Prof Wen-Hua Chen and Prof Niels Lohse’s paper on “Towards Industrial Robots as a Service (IRaaS): Flexibility, Usability, Safety and Business Models” has been published in Robotics and Computer-Integrated Manufacturing.
Industrial robots form an integral part of today’s manufacturing industry, due to their high versatility, precision, and fatigue proof nature. Yet, many small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) still predominantly rely on manual labor. The main barriers that prevent SMEs from utilizing robots to a larger degree are described to be the large initial investment, uncertainty about costs (total cost of ownership), and lack of expertise. An opportunity to eliminate these barriers can be found in servitisation. While paradigms such as software as a service (SaaS) or Robot as a Service (RaaS) already exist, these focus mostly on software (functionality) via cloud computing. In this paper, a new paradigm based on software and hardware is proposed as Industrial Robots as a Service (IRaaS), which is composed of four elements: Flexibility (Plug and Produce, mobility), Usability (Easy Programming, Intuitive Interaction), Safety (Standards, Strategies), and Business Models (Time-based, Usage-based). To provide an overview of the current state-of-the-art a scoping survey is performed on each of the four key elements from an IRaaS perspective.
If you are interested in reading the full paper, you can access this here.