Robust AI: The Collaborative Union of AI, Robotics, And Humans 


AI Network

Among the categories of fun topics in the world right now, AI and robots are definitely among the most interesting. That makes the niche of companies like Robust AI, who bring the two areas together, even more incredible. 

AI Network

The story of Robust AI is an interesting one, from a company with a software mindset that didn’t fancy the idea of going into hardware to becoming a competitive name in the warehouse industry with robots. Let’s take a deep dive into their 

A Quick Detour

Before looking into Robust AI, here’s some content about the name. Leaving the company aside, one could be wondering what it really means for AI to be robust. The robustness of AI describes it being able to maintain its level of performance regardless of external factors which could come in the form of human or environmental.

This was just a way to show the cleverness in the name Robust AI and how this description clearly aligns with their flagship product to be discussed later.

What is Robust AI?

Robust AI is a US-based company co-founded by Rodney Brooks, a robotics expert and Anthony Jules, a technology veteran. The former was an MIT professor, while the latter was an MIT alumnus. Initially, Robust AI was founded in 2019 to focus on software development to problem-solving, however, it quickly evolved into a robotic expert in the warehousing industry.

Robust AI Homepage

The Robust AI team combines AI, robotics, and human-centred design to make robots that assist with tasks and work with humans. Their latest focus is on warehouses that achieve most of their operations without automation, this directly assists the labour industry. Their latest blend, Carter, is one that does this uniquely. 

Carter and Grace – Robust AI’s Perfect Pair

Carter by Robust AI

Robust AI’s first set of products has gotten eyes on them. They are a 2 in 1 package, that delivers a complete robot. It consists of the software section, Grace, and the hardware part, Carter.

Grace (Software) 

In the fashion of what was intended, Robust AI developed its first software suite, Grace. Grace enables a smooth workflow in the warehouse between people and robots. It uses a no-code interface and cameras to create spatial and situational awareness for robots.

Grace behaves like a general sensor understanding the presence of people and the work being done after an initial mapping of the environment. This way, it can make robots interact with people and work in close proximity. This shortens the setup and deployment time, optimises operations, and promotes an intended industry-based workflow.

Carter (Hardware)

Carter is a Collaborative Mobile Robot (CMR). It is the first hardware product of Robust AI and was born out of the robotic history of Brooks. Having worked in several robotic industries and contributing to products such as Roomba, Baxter, and Sawyer, the initiative for a collaborative robot was born.

The warehouse robot has a motorised base, touch screen, and periscope with several cameras and sensors to identify human movements and environments and adapt to them. It does this by relaying the information gotten to Grace.

The Union

The triple pair of software (Grace), hardware (Carter), and Humans brings Robust AI’s CMR to life. With the information provided by Grace, Carter has situational awareness and can work very closely with people in an interactive manner without being a nuisance. It uses the feedback received to adapt to human behaviours, making it a seamless part of the workplace. This system is known as Collaborative Productivity.

Carter adds a flexible automation system that can also easily be manually interacted with. By coming in contact with the handle you gain control of the robot and it becomes a power tool to use as you please. It’s very functional and effective in executing the daily tasks in the warehouse.

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