Pittsburgh, PA based Seegrid Corporation, a provider of autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) for material handling operations, announced that it has entered into a strategic partnership agreement with Perrysburg, Ohio based RōBEX, a robotics and automation integrator and engineering services provider.
More Offerings – The RōBEX AMR solutions portfolio now include members of Seegrid’s Palion series of AMRs, including the Seegrid Palion Lift, the Seegrid Palion Pallet Truck and the Seegrid Palion Tow Tractor.
Enabling Technologies – RōBEX will also make available to its customers Seegrid’s other enabling technologies for material handling automation including Seegrid’s Supervisor fleet management software and Fleet Geek cloud-based, data analytics platform.
Acquired – The same day as the partnership was announced, RōBEX gave notice that the company, along with a second automation integrator, Mid-State Engineering, has been acquired by private equity firm Angeles Equity Partners. In addition to integrators RōBEX and Mid-State, Angeles Equity Partner’s portfolio also includes a number of manufacturing firms.
The Seegrid partnership broadens and deepens the RōBEX AMR solutions portfolio.
That Seegrid has added RōBEX as a systems integrator partner is commendable, and congratulations are in order. But it is also important to understand why the partnership makes good business sense for both parties, as well as what it reveals about critical (and evolving) competencies for both automation integrators and their technology partners.
Autonomous mobile robots are red hot in the manufacturing and logistics sectors. AMR deployments for warehouse and industrial operations are surging, and this growth is expected to increase for the foreseeable future. Accordingly, experience with autonomous mobile systems, including their deployment and operations, is a critical capability for robotics and automation integrators. Previous to the Seegrid partnership announcement, RōBEX formed integrator partnerships with AMR providers MiR and AutoGuide. The Seegrid integrator deal broadens and deepens the RōBEX AMR solutions portfolio.
RōBEX is also in tune with other robotics and automation trends such as 3D visioning, and machine learning, as well as the Robotics-as-a-Service (RaaS) business models (of many types) that have quickly become de rigueur among forward thinking AMR suppliers, including Seegrid. RōBEX’s Robotics-as-a-Service program is RōBEX FLEXX.
Like AMRs and RaaS, AI powered machine vision is also a critical enabler for increasing automation operational effectiveness, and as such robotics integrators must have some type of play there. The RōBEX partnership with Plus One Robotics does just that. Plus One’s edge 3D and AI-powered vision software, PickOne, allows for vision-guided manipulation of a variety of objects, and is robot and gripper agnostic. Since its founding in 2016, Plus One has received three rounds of investment funding for a total of US $43 million, a clear indicator how the investment community views the company and their vision powered manipulation solution.