Ronavi Robotics Company launched a serial production of the first Russian logistic robots. The first batch of 100 machines has already been reserved by the clients and will start operating in the warehouses of the country by the end of this year. It was reported by the company management at the Skolkovo Robotics exposition that is now taking place in the Skolkovo Technology Park.
Ronavi Robotics belongs to the TechnoSpark Group that is a part of the investment network of the Fund for Infrastructural and Education Programs of the RUSNANO Group. Ronavi Robotics is the first and, so far, only Russian company that has not only completed their own development of a logistic robot from scratch, but also launched its production and sale. Today, the company ranks among the top ten world’s leading companies in the industry.
“According to the ARI Research group that investigates promising markets of groundbreaking technologies, by 2025 there will be over 4 million robots involved in warehouses of the world. And autonomous mobile robots (AMR) are the simplest and most affordable way to upgrade the existing warehouse infrastructure,” said Ivan Borodin, Director of Ronavi Robotics, presenting their invention at the exposition.
“Development of robotic warehouses significantly cuts the costs in the expansive segment of online trade, cutting corners on lighting, heating and air-conditioning. People no longer have to engage in dumb and tedious warehouse activities. The storage of goods becomes more compact, which expands the storage capacity 3-5 times. Besides, global online trade has reached such a rate of growth that the old logistic infrastructure can no longer cater for the emerging needs. And we figured that all Russian and global supermarket chains, from Magnit to Alibaba, will soon form the market for such robotic systems. It prompted us to start works on our own autonomous robot system,” says Denis Kovalevich, Director General of the TechnoSpark Group.
Ronavi Robotics was founded in 2014. At that time there was no global market of logistic robots, however, Amazon, one of the biggest online retailers, had already bought a $775 million startup producing logistic robot systems and opened Amazon Robotics, a new division that started making machines intended to be used specifically in warehouses of this giant company.
The Ronavi H model is mass-produced in Troitsk (New Moscow). This model is designed for carrying warehouse pellets with a weight of up to 1.5 tons, and it is controlled via some in-house software. “We agreed that the first Ronavi robot would have a loading capacity of 1.5 tons to carry Russian pallets that hold the load of up to 1.4 tons,” explains Denis Kovalevich. The robot can move around the warehouse at a speed of up to 5 km/h with the use of special tags when moving. Ronavi Robotics machines can recharge their batteries by themselves, and they can be integrated into one network with an unlimited number of robots. The software embedded in the robot is a 100 % domestic product.
The machine goes with a year warranty. Over 10 years of its operation, the robot will require two battery replacements and one wheelset change.
According to Mr. Kovalevich, today Ronavi is simultaneously developing in three technological directions. “First of all, we are completing engineering work and starting a serial production of our robot on two industrial platforms — in Troitsk (Moscow) and Eindhoven (Netherlands) using facilities of VDL ETG, one of the largest European engineering companies. In Russia, we will have a serial production of machines for our domestic market and China, whereas in the Netherlands — for the European market. Secondly, we are finalising debugging works on the software of the robot and its test driving over thousands of hours in the automatic mode. Thirdly, we are designing a robot with a loading capacity of 300 kg, a more compact, space-saving and affordable version of the first machine. Its serial production will start in 2020, but pre-orders have already opened,” says Mr. Kovalevich.
One of key competitive advantages of the Ronavi robot is its price. Even produced in small batches, it is within the lowest quarter of the world market ($30,000). “Our task is to keep bringing the selling prices of robots down. However, a serious reduction in robot prices can be expected only when the demand is formed in the mass market. In the USA, this new platform for warehousing and logistics has been inexorably replacing the old one over the last five years. In Russia, the process is only starting now,” says the Director General of TechnoSpark.
In the spring of 2019, TechnoSpark exposed Ronavi Robotics Company to foreign investment, inviting venture and corporate funds, as well as strategic investors, to participate in the capital of the high-tech company.
At the beginning of April 2019, Ronavi Robotics received the #Kupislona award, which was the first reputation award organized by the Fund for Infrastructural and Education Programs of the RUSNANO Group, the National Tech Initiative, the Russian Venture Company, the Innovation Promotion Fund and the Interindustry Nanotech Union to celebrate most promising startups in the material based sector. While handing over the prize, the head of RUSNANO, Anatoly Chubais, pointed out that he liked “not only the engineering and design concept, but also the cool, modern, industrial look” of products by Ronavi Robotics.
Tomorrow, the Ronavi logistic robot and its multi-purpose middleware, that allows for a hive of robots controlled via SAP EWM systems to operate in the warehouse, will be presented at the SAP Forum 2019 at the VDNKh (All-Russian Exhibition Center).