Boston-based Realtime Robotics has partnered with tech conglomerate Siemens to deliver faster and safer programming solutions for robotic workcells. Realtime Robotics specializes in automation platforms that enable real-time, collision-free motion planning. So far, the smaller company has directed its software to workcells, which are typically cordoned-off clusters of autonomous/industrial robots working in close proximity with each other.
According to the partnership announcement, the companies will continue to focus on industrial workcells; however, both Siemens and Realtime are in a good position to expand the business relationship to collaborative robots as well. Realtime is currently working on safety certifications for fully collaborative systems that would allow robots to work side-by-side with humans in a workcell but has not had any collaborative patent applications published yet. Siemens has 15 collaborative robot patents and applications that cover control systems, human-machine interface, and specific applications in the manufacturing and medical fields, but their filing has slowed since 2015. Collision-detection software is of course integral to collaborative robot functionality, and Realtime's software could pair well with Siemen's work on human sensors. As the partnership kicks off, you can view the Magic Number® collaborative robot sector to see other companies moving in the field.