The Future of INS and Autonomous Navigation
The journey into robotics has a long history with many ups and downs. Inertial Sense is not much different. Our intent was to make the lightest and highest performance of inertial sensors, with the widest range of devices. So, with making such a big splash so unexpectedly, how does one top that? Watch the video below as Tom walks us through the evolution of Inertial Sense’s products and services. We started focusing on sensor fusion and the ability to perform for a more demanding environment while upgrading the technology along the way.
What Does This Mean for the Future of INS and Robotics?
Robotics is not new. In fact, robotics has been around for decades. But the autonomy is new for these companies. This includes some of the basics of even writing software and understanding the brain of the sensors; being able to operate autonomously.
How Can Inertial Sense Help My Company?
We focus on offering autonomy as a service, meaning it’s customizable for the customer. We are problem-solvers, solving every part of the problem.
Companies are looking for cost-effective solutions to produce mass products while cutting production costs. Much of production costs come from outsourcing because the company is not knowledgeable about certain intricacies of the product.
We love the autonomous robotics industry because this cutting-edge technology allows for missions that do not involve humans and it simplifies task that would otherwise raise labor costs. Our full-stack solution for autonomous robotics allows for a customizable robotic deployment. And that’s where Inertial Sense comes in.
Be sure to contact us or check out our Sensors and INS video series for more information.
So let’s talk about the journey that most companies have with robotics. And I think the best way to frame it is to talk about our journey with robotics. If you look at the history of the company, we started off doing inertial sensors and the intent was to make the lightest, highest performance inertial sensors to be put in the widest range of devices. And we were very successful at that.
We Started as a Sensor Company
But as we went on, we started getting utilized in more complex and demanding environments like ground mobile robotics, and weapon system, things like that. So the sensor fusion and the ability to perform in a more demanding environment became more of a requirement for the sensors and the sensors themselves became more sophisticated.
And at some point we said, well you know, we’ve gotten pretty good a this. Where do we think the future’s heading? And we thought you know what, we’re already in some ground mobile robotics deployments. How about autonomy for those same robots. And that’s kind of when the lights went off because it’s something that a lot of companies really struggle with.
Robotics is not new. Robotics has been around for decades. But autonomy is very new for these companies, and so they’re sort of struggling with the problem of, I’m good at sort of building the mechanical device. But I’m not so good at writing software. I’m not so good at understanding what sensors are. I’ve never written a UI/UX before.
So how do I find someone that can help me take my vehicles on the path from just pure robotics to autonomously navigating by themselves. And that’s where we come in.
Getting Your Robotics to Market Quickly
We went on that same journey. So we sort of went up the stack into software and decided we could build a great, what we’re calling autonomy as a service, meaning that it is pretty much self-contained. It’s integrated, it’s a full stack solution. It’s customizable for the customer. But at the same time, we’re shipping them something that kind of solves every part of the problem.
And if you look at what’s happening in context, if you look at what’s happening on the autonomous navigation for automobiles, you know, why is my flying car not here yet? It’s because it’s a really hard problem to solve. And if you look at the technology stack for autonomous cars, it’s divided up into sensors, processing, vision, obstacle avoidance, safety, and things like that. And there’s 30 vendors in all those spaces, trying to chase that one part of the automobile stack.
Autonomy As A Service
The reason that we love the sort of workhorse service robotics market is that it’s addressable in a way with missions that don’t involve carrying humans, and missions that are simpler. So someone can actually take on the entire full stack solution for an autonomous robotic deployment, and that’s where we come in.
Full Stack Autonomous Solution
So if put the hat on of if I’m the CEO of a, let’s say a legacy company that builds large mowers for commercial groundskeeping. I know I can build great mowers. No one’s going to build a better mower than me. But I don’t necessarily have the people or the technology in-house to handle autonomy. Because that’s mostly software and sensors and things that i’ not necessarily familiar with and it’s kind of hard for me to attract the sort of ninja robotics and perception engineers that can get the job done. So I’m going to look for a partner that can get me to market quickly.
To Buy or to Build?
And we’ve talked to larger companies who have tried this internally and it didn’t work. And they’ve tried it with a sort of general code house to try and do it, and it doesn’t work. What they’re really looking for is somebody who is a specialist in this space.
And so we focus on just building that full stack solution. Partnering directly with these companies. Integrating with their key platforms and getting those devices to market as quickly as possible.
Providing Autonomy to Your Customers
So typically, these customers have their own customers who have a high labor component to what they’re doing. So they’re looking for any sort of efficiencies and return investment from an investment in autonomy that makes immediate sense.
Autonomy Scales Business
So if you take something like groundskeeping where some of these companies are doing hundreds of millions of dollars of business every year, and some 70-75% of that is labor cost. They’re looking for ways that they can both bring those labor costs down. Also, expand their coverage with the same amount of machines. And autonomy gives them the ability to do that. But that’s all happening very quickly and it’s an extremely competitive game.
So these CEO’s and VP’s of their own business development and sales are looking for solutions out there that they can get those autonomous solutions to market as quickly as possible. Generating revenue for their customers, generating a return on investment, and delivering true value to what they’re doing.