Robotics

Viam, KUKA to accelerate digital solutions in robotics & automation

The partnership will debut at KUKA Connexions 2024 with the offering of a new Viam driver for KUKA robotic arms. The driver provides sophisticated control and automation features — including intuitive programming interfaces, real-time data analytics, and more — and heralds an inflection point advancing smart automation for manufacturing and industrial sectors.

Viam, the open source platform for smart machines, is pleased to announce a new partnership with KUKA, the leading global supplier of intelligent robot-based solutions. The partnership enables streamlined deployment and integration of the Viam software platform with KUKA robotic arms through a flexible and powerful public driver, now available in the Viam Modular Registry. The collaboration brings Viam’s modern capabilities in machine interoperability, code deployment, and data analytics to KUKA’s best-in-class equipment, giving automation experts and systems integrators a powerful new way to help their customers build a competitive advantage.

Automation and digital transformation are top of mind for executives and developers in industrial sectors. The shift to Industry 4.0 has heralded a new era of “smart manufacturing,” bringing Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing, data analytics, and machine learning capabilities to sensors, embedded software, and robotics — ultimately leading to accelerated engineering velocity, operational efficiency, and increased yield returns. McKinsey & Co estimates that smart automation initiatives drive up to a 30% increase in throughput, 30% increase in labor productivity, 50% reduction in machine downtime, and 85% improvement in forecasting accuracy.

With this new partnership, Viam and KUKA are helping manufacturers, innovation teams, and machine operators drive business efficiencies, advance smart automation, and broaden the reach and accessibility of working with KUKA robotic arms. Viam enables multiple-language programming, hardware interoperability, and more so that more engineers can work with KUKA arms, while also expanding the arms’ technical capabilities.

KUKA and Viam will debut the partnership together at the KUKA Connexions 2024 conference in Destin, Florida from April 15-18, 2024, KUKA’s main event for system integrators and partners in North America.

Viam will also present the new Viam driver for KUKA robotic arms, which gives users sophisticated control and automation features, such as intuitive programming interfaces in contemporary programming languages, real-time data analytics, integrated machine learning pipelines, advanced motion services, and seamless IoT device integration for comprehensive, smart operations. The driver is available on the Viam Modular Registry, and is the inaugural collaboration in an array of joint R&D projects planned for the coming months.

Viam is a fully modular, interoperable, and open source software solution that works seamlessly across all hardware and any fleet of machines. Its open architecture removes costly barriers to automation and the need for complex integrations, and instead simplifies human-machine interaction through a cloud-based portal.

Once Viam is interacting with a machine, Viam enables it to be universally compatible with any hardware, share data, and take action in coordination with any other machine’s hardware or software. Additionally, Viam allows for the integration of modern features such as machine learning and analytics, facilitating remote diagnostics, operational efficiencies, and data-driven decision making. It’s an intuitive and flexible modern software solution, now made even more accessible through a seamless integration with KUKA equipment.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Viam and bring our customers even more powerful, adaptable, and efficient ways to extend the power of their KUKA equipment,” said Pjeter Lulgjuraj, Sales & Marketing Operations Manager, USA at KUKA. “With Viam, engineers can now easily add smart functionality to our robotic arms, and then seamlessly update and evolve them to their unique needs.”

There are no upfront per-device or deployment costs to use Viam. Customers only pay for data they consume to run Viam’s cloud services on machines, and all on-machine features are open source and free.

“With KUKA’s robotic arms and Viam’s modern software architecture, customers now have a powerful arsenal for advancing smart automation,” said Eliot Horowitz, founder and CEO of Viam. “This partnership helps fuel our mission to give industry leaders intuitive and flexible tools that transform the way software powers hardware, so we can help developers, teams, and enterprises move quickly and build with ease.”

To learn more about the partnership and Viam solutions, please reach out to sales@viam.com.

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