Industrial robots are typically large, heavy machines dangerous to operate near people on factory floors; these models also tend to be difficult to quickly re-purpose for agile manufacturing when new product customization options are needed to accommodate fast-changing consumer tastes, for example.
For deeply entrenched industry stalwarts, these barriers make perfect business sense since they profit mainly from integrating and subsequently supporting large fleets of robots in well-structured manufacturing and assembly environments. But these challenges also keep many small manufacturers robot-free at a time when advanced automation could, more than ever, boost their competitive edge.
Conditions are now ripe, however, for a genuine transformation in industrial automation, led by a new wave of more versatile robots that expand their traditional roles on production lines and, notably, also in "niche" applications away from factory floors: on farms, in service-based industries, and at home.
Silicon Biology leverages advances at the intersection of information technology, nanotechnology, and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) to build a new generation of agile robots that respond to change in their environment from experience, and can work intelligently alongside human coworkers: matching the precision of their human counterparts to complete tasks previously difficult to cost-effectively automate.
And we embrace the "robots as a service" model that many small businesses prefer: replacing up-front capital infrastructure expenses with low variable costs that scale with the needs of the business, while maintaining flexible manufacturing capabilities poised for more advanced automation as it matures.