For the past thirty years, the robotics industry has been defined by a large number of different providers building similar products with proprietary operating systems, controllers, and software to perform largely similar tasks. This applies particularly to mobile robotics, with different providers offering separate form factors, sensor solutions, use cases, and highly differentiated hardware offerings.
This might be called the Artisanal Age for robotics and was understandable given the significant challenges faced in developing robots for different use cases. But as technology has matured and deployments have become more common, hardware costs have gone down, and the corresponding drop in sensor prices has made it less difficult to build sophisticated mobile robots at scale. Now, the value is shifting to the middleware and software that can power these robots and develop the advanced value-added services that enable and extend the possibilities of robotic adoption. Ultimately, t...
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