Robotics provider Seegrid Corp. is the latest company to offer its products through a Robots-as-a-Service (RaaS) model, an alternative to outright purchase or lease. Seegrid’s primary offerings of autonomous mobile robots (AMR) used in the material handling business are its Palion Tow Tractor and Palion Pallet Truck, as well as a new product, Palion Lift AMR. They will all be available to customers through an RaaS model.
Jeff Christensen, VP of product at Seegrid, laid out the difference between a lease model for securing robotics and a RaaS model. RaaS is a subscription model, Christensen said, a package that comes with an entire suite of support services. It allows the customer to access various Seegrid AMR products as well as Fleet Central, which is the Seegrid enterprise software to manage a fleet of AMRs.
"RaaS customers can continue experiencing the benefits of their automation solution by renewing or upgrading their subscription to accommodate their company growth and business requirements,” Christensen said. “RaaS enables the customer to move more quickly into automation, stay up-to-date with new technology, and with less initial financial outlay and quicker returns."
By contrast, according to Christensen, when Seegrid customers choose to lease, they finance their Seegrid purchase through a third-party vendor. The customer is responsible for ongoing maintenance and support fees, which can also be added to the lease program. Lease terms vary based on the third-party lessor. Sometimes the third party gives the customer the option to purchase the equipment outright at the end of the lease term.