Orange Fab Accelerator is pleased to welcome two companies specializing in robotics this year. It hopes to bolster this field in Romania, which is still in its infancy but clearly in its infancy and significantly lagging behind other European countries. Among these companies is Agora Robotics, a deep-tech company dedicated to developing innovative, easy-to-use, sustainable autonomous mobile robots for floor cleaning and warehouse logistics.
Once upon a time, or how Agora Robotics got started
Agora Robotics began years ago with a small team working on small but technologically complex one-off projects like interactive museum exhibitions. Ioana Calen, the company’s representative, mentions that from the beginning, the company was blessed with people who were – and are – beyond passionate about what they do. Over years of R&D projects, they successfully maintained, developed, and strengthened the company, gaining extensive expertise across various fields. After a decade of intense research and development, Agora Robotics reformed its vision, feeling the need to shift from prototypes to sustainable products, eventually leading them to industrial autonomous robots.
Our days or what the company offers to the Robotics market
Today, the company is the first to develop hardware robots in Romania, offering robots for big retailers, warehouse logistics and healthcare sectors. So far, the company's most successful product is MUV, a UVC sterilization autonomous robot, which emerged in response to heightened disinfection needs during the COVID-19 pandemic . SWEEP is another product about to hit the market, a robot designed to clean large floor areas without human intervention . Both products share a user-friendly, plug-and-play service model, making them easy to integrate, quick to adopt, and accessible to people without particular technical backgrounds.
Philosophical questions in the area of Robotics
How are robots going to influence our lives? How will the extensive adoption of autonomous mobile robots interfere with the evolution of the human species? Is it a good idea to make them biomimetic? Will this trigger the emergence of feelings towards them? If yes, is that a bad thing?
Agora Robotics is among the few companies establishing this field in Romania, creating innovations at the border of their experience, approaches from other countries, and market needs. The honor of being a pioneer in such a disruptive field imposes great responsibility, requiring the consideration of consequences not only for the company but also on a cultural and social scale. Taking this issue seriously, the company consults with experts in the field of robotics ethics to discuss how their technology will impact the labour market, society and life in general in the future.
Planning in a VUCA moment of history
According to Agora Robotics, the Romanian Robotics market is gaining momentum – industries might soon face the reality that such robots are not a luxury or privilege but a necessity, considering the large workforce migration from Romania to countries with higher salaries. The world is changing at dazzling speed, triggering a constant need to adapt to a permacrisis defined by Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity (VUCA). We live in a world of many crises - geopolitical crises that are hard to predict in a year of elections in so many countries around the globe, the recent pandemic and the danger of other types of pandemics in the future, the ever more complicated and disruptive evolution of AI and technology, economic implications of all of the above. This context requires more resilience, agility, flexibility, and constant innovation. We try not only to adapt as a company but also develop solutions that will be part of our clients' resilience strategy and equip them to navigate these times successfully. In Agora Robotics' view, collaborative robots are the best of what technology offers society to mitigate the effects of these challenging times and contribute to a sustainable future.
In general, Ioana Calen ponders that we are slowly moving towards a “dark factory” paradigm, also known as a fully automated space that doesn’t require human intervention. However, we still have a long way to go! Thus, Agora Robotics aims to develop an ecosystem for industrial cleaning and logistics, planning to expand from floor-cleaning robots to a comprehensive suite of automated solutions for various outdoor and indoor tasks. In the queue are robots for retail logistics, a self-inventory robot, and an outdoor robot that will help service solar panels.
In partnership with Orange Fab, Agora Robotics is leveraging cloud technology for data management and optimization. Our collaboration is intended to enhance both technological development and the practical applications of Agora's solutions. We have already noticed a natural, strong synergy and can’t wait to innovate together!
- Sterilisation autonomous robot. URL:https://www.agorarobotics.com/solution/project-one-ephnc-l9zyf
- SWEEP. URL: https://www.agorarobotics.com/solution/project-two-llrgk-4drf7