Amazon Launches New Platform to Help You Manage Your Robotic Fleet

Amazon wants to help you roll out an army of robots. 

The company on Monday announced AWS IoT RoboRunner, a platform meant to help companies deploy robotic fleets. The system builds on technology currently used to manage bots in Amazon fulfillment centers.

RoboRunner improves upon AWS’s previously released RoboMaker platform, which lets robotic developers operate their fleets at scale, according to the company. The new platform has the added advantage of allowing companies to connect various kinds of robots–from robotic manipulators to guided vehicles–and program them to perform tasks, according to a company blog post.

“As we worked with robot developers and operators, we have repeatedly heard that they face challenges in operating different robot types in their automation efforts,” the company wrote. 

The program also makes it easier to add new robots to an existing fleet, a process that typically requires complex software integration. Amazon launched a preview version of the platform this week.

The announcement came at AWS re:Invent, a conference for business owners and other technical decision-makers hosted by Amazon Web Services in Las Vegas. 

The robotics software industry is expected to be worth over $7.5 billion by next year, according to VentureBeat. Creating viable software that makes robots intelligent and useful is often more challenging than building the hardware.

Amazon on Monday also announced the AWS Robotics Startup Accelerator, a startup incubator for robotics, automation, and IoT technologies. Companies accepted into the accelerator will consult with robotics engineers and business experts at AWS and the nonprofit MassRobotics.

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