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Viam, Inc. announced the release of its public beta. Viam’s vision is to make it simpler than ever to get started with robots and support the entire robotics lifecycle on a single platform, including configuring and prototyping, coding, maintaining and growing robotics fleets, and leveraging cloud technologies to do more with robotics data.
The company believes that in the past, robotics software systems were different, hard to use, and couldn’t connect to the cloud. Viam is made for the cloud era, so it has a simple, modern architecture and easy-to-use APIs. Viam prioritizes security and privacy, with SOC2 type I and HIPAA compliance, so customers know their robotics data is safe.
Founder & CEO Eliot Horowitz was a founder and CTO at Mongo DB prior to founding Viam in 2020. Mongo DB is one of the most utilized, open-source database solutions for developing web-based applications. Horowitz wants to modernize robotics operating software in a similar fashion.
Viam Robotics announced the close of a $30 million Series A round in a story that we reported in February 2022. The company has raised a total of $42M so far.
“It’s clear that in the near future, robots are going to be impacting our lives in a myriad of different ways, but we aren’t going to get there without a massive improvement in robotics tooling–especially on the software side,” said Horowitz. “Viam takes a complex, disjointed process and makes it practical. One platform for every stage of your robotics journey that bridges the gap between hardware and software engineers while providing them with the kind of flexible, intuitive tools they already love to use. I cannot wait to see what people build with Viam.”
Viam provides an open-source robot architecture that turns complex functionality into simple APIs, with an integrated cloud service to orchestrate production deployments. Users can configure a robot in minutes, and operate it from anywhere using any common software language. Viam manages, secures, and connects every robot so that any team can go from a robotics idea to a robotics business in record time.
Viam allows users to:
- Unify hardware & software prototyping – Viam abstracts common hardware types such as “motor” or “arm” so that engineers can simply select the model they’re using and Viam automatically configures their robot. Viam supports hundreds of common drivers and provides an SDK to easily create more. Once configured, hardware can be tested in Viam’s control UI and software engineers immediately have intuitive APIs to begin coding.
- Simplify software development – Viam allows developers to write predictable, reliable, and consistent code in any programming language, for any robot, from anywhere. Viam’s API exposes intuitive methods through gRPC for each type of hardware. Each robot can be remotely accessed via WebRTC, and Viam natively supports higher-level services such as Computer Vision, SLAM, and Motion Planning.
- Operate global deployments – Organizations can centrally manage and secure every robot from anywhere. Organize robots by group and location, view every robot’s status, remotely control any robot, and maintain fine-grained control over access to robots – down to distinct API methods. For example, users can prevent remote access to cameras deployed in sensitive environments.
- Manage data across robots – Viam lets users synchronize data from each robot to the cloud, combine and analyze data in the cloud, and then deploy changes to every robot. Viam can collect images, sensor readings, and hardware metrics even through challenging network conditions and limited bandwidth. Once uploaded, users can explore data, export it to run predictive analytics, and train machine learning models. Trained models–or any other data–are easily pushed back down to robots.
New Era In Robotics
There is widespread agreement that robotics and automation will become mainstream, having a significant impact on every industry and aspect of daily life. However, the path to get there has been complicated by technological barriers on the software side.
Viam makes it easy to transition from a robotics concept to a production robot and then to a scaled and profitable robotics business. There are a number of use cases for robots that Viam can support, whether it’s deploying a solution aimed at solving one of the world’s biggest problems or something that makes household chores easier.
Viam does not charge for beta usage of its cloud service. At general availability, Viam will offer consumption-based pricing for its cloud service.
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