ANYbotics uses AWS to deploy a global robot workforce for industrial inspections
ANYbotics, a pioneering company at the forefront of autonomous mobile robots, is using AWS to deploy their global robot workforce. They revolutionize the operation of large industrial facilities by providing intelligent inspection solutions that improve safety, efficiency, and sustainability. Connecting the physical and digital assets, ANYbotics helps companies with cutting-edge robotics technology to create an environment where robots and humans can work seamlessly together to achieve better results.
In this blog post, you’ll learn how ANYbotics leverages Amazon Web Services (AWS) to run their applications to collect and store data from a fleet of robots, as well as provide an interface for their customers to view telemetry data and send new missions to the robots.
Operating ANYmal at Scale
ANYmal is ANYbotics’ robotic solution to perform repetitive and hazardous inspection tasks. It’s a rugged, autonomous, highly mobile, ready-to-go inspection robot. ANYmal’s multi-sensory capabilities include visual and acoustic asset monitoring, detection of thermal anomalies, and gas leakages. It constantly updates a plant’s 3D map for situational awareness, creating a dynamic digital twin of the facility. ANYmal’s 24/7 availability means constantly providing insights into the robot’s operations allowing their customers to act quickly and safely.
With the first commercial series of ANYmal, ANYbotics delivered single units for pilot projects. As customers started scaling the technology and deploying fleets of robots, new operational challenges arose – like ensuring secure operation, handling a growing amount of incoming data from the robots, and providing a reliable way to query telemetry data. ANYbotics is solving these challenges by using AWS solutions as key components in their solution.
ANYbotics is expanding its use of AWS offerings, including Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) for customizable cloud capacity; Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS) for provisioning, maintenance, and scaling of customer-facing workloads and APIs, and AWS Lambda for automated scheduling.
ANYbotics developed their solution to collect data from ANYmal, store it in AWS, and then make it accessible via API to their customers. At the same time, this solution enables ANYmal to receive software updates and mission commands from the operator regardless of geographic location of the robot.
ANYbotics has the unique requirement from their customers to be able to deploy their solution at customers’ sites on their servers. By choosing a container-based approach, they can standardize their applications and use similar tools across all installations. They can deploy on all sites with very little variation and keep the management overhead low since all installations use the same structure.
With AWS, ANYbotics operates and scales their applications using EKS clusters running on EC2 instances. They benefit from the reduced infrastructure management overhead because AWS handles the operational tasks associated with physical infrastructure. To further minimize the overhead, they use the managed Kubernetes services EKS which handles operational tasks of a Kubernetes cluster. Therefore, instead of managing the hardware and control plane they can focus on building their applications to generate value for their customers. To run applications for different customers in the same cluster, ANYbotics assigns a unique namespace to each tenant. This segmentation allows ANYbotics to safely operate applications for different tenants in parallel and share computational resources.
ANYbotics has containers for data synchronization between ANYmal and AWS, sending new missions to the robot, and other workloads. ANYmal connects to the data sync application using an Amazon Elastic Load Balancer (ELB) and uploads the latest inspection telemetry data from the customer’s industrial site. At the same time, it receives update notifications and new missions to run. Customer operators can use an app to check the robot’s health and define new missions. In addition, ANYbotics customers can integrate their existing digital twin solutions or 3rd party applications via the ANYmal API which provides the collected information from their industrial site.
Enabling Robot-as-a-Service (RaaS)
Robot-as-a-Service (RaaS) is a business model that offers robots and robotic services to customers on a subscription or pay-as-you-go basis, rather than selling robots as a one-time product. RaaS is ANYbotics’ preferred model to scale the ANYmal fleet with a fully serviced offering for hardware and software. It’s a flexible business model without the need for upfront investments for their customers.
By using AWS services, ANYbotics can scale their applications up and down, depending on the current workload. They can add compute resources on demand within minutes and use the pay-as-you-go pricing model to operate cost efficiently. This is crucial for ANYbotics since they can easily adapt to fluctuation in the number of robots or the complexity of tasks without investing in on-premises hardware that might be underutilized during periods of lower demand. Scaling up is essential to ensure the future readiness of operating a growing fleet of ANYmal robots and meet the demand for more complex task solving applications.
ANYmal robots are deployed at industrial sites worldwide. By leveraging the global footprint of AWS, ANYbotics can bring their solution closer to the robots to reduce latency which translates into improved performance for their customers.
As a result, ANYbotics provides their versatile and scalable Robot-as-a-Service (RaaS) offering using AWS, setting the stage for a future where robots play a pivotal role in a multitude of applications across various sectors.
“With AWS cloud computing solutions, we are moving towards a future where we can collect data around the globe, train ANYmal to become more intelligent, and deploy those solutions back to our customers at an almost by-the-minute frequency. “ – Robert MacKenzie, CTO Solutions, ANYbotics.
ANYbotics provides large asset operators with autonomous, automated, end-to-end robotic inspection solutions for complex and hazardous industrial environments. They started with single robots and expanded to a fleet operating worldwide. They leverage AWS to scale their solution to operate and manage an increasing number of robots by adding compute resource on-demand. This allows ANYbotics to offer their integration solution cost effectively because they only pay for the resources they need. Furthermore, with the reduced infrastructure management overhead they can focus on providing their Robot-as-a-Service (RaaS) model to customers worldwide and make their services reliable, durable, and easy to maintain.