Brain Corp : Productivity Automated, Intelligence Unleashed

Lauren Kania
Lauren Kania - Junior Editor

As the leading autonomy platform driving robotic and artificial intelligence applications at scale, we speak to Gavin Donley, Head of Marketing at Brain Corp, about how the company is empowering organizations to automate and infuse intelligence into its core operations.

PRODUCTIVITY AUTOMATED, INTELLIGENCE UNLEASHED

No matter the industry or customer base served, artificial intelligence (AI) is dominating the future of businesses with its potential to change the way people live, work, and play. 

Advances in AI have not only helped fuel efficiency and technology, but also opened the door to entirely new opportunities for companies such as Brain Corp

Founded in 2009, Brain Corp is an autonomous technology company that creates transformative solutions in robotics and AI. With thousands of autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) deployed globally, the company’s autonomy software, BrainOS®, is enhancing productivity, efficiency, and safety across commercial spaces, including retail stores, schools, warehouses, and more. 

Through innovation and strategic partnerships, Brain Corp pioneers the commercial robotics domain, envisioning a future where robots are as commonplace as computers and mobile phones. 

Embarking on a journey to reshape the commercial realms with autonomous robotics, the business is at the forefront of creating industry-aligned robotic solutions. By leveraging the robust capabilities of BrainOS®, Brain Corp is broadening the possibilities of what robots can accomplish in commercial and industrial settings. 

We speak to Gavin Donley, Head of Marketing at Brain Corp, as the company continues to innovate and look towards the future. Its vision extends beyond current market demands, aiming to fulfill the ever-changing needs of different industries, making a significant impact on society by transforming the way people exist.

Q&A WITH GAVIN DONLEY, HEAD OF MARKETING, BRAIN CORP

Firstly, please introduce us to Brain Corp as the global leader in AI robotics. 

Gavin Donley, Head of Marketing (GD): Based in San Diego, Brain Corp is a leading autonomous technology company creating transformative solutions in robotics and AI. Our main product, BrainOS®, is an autonomy platform that empowers organizations to automate operations with robots and infuse intelligence with AI-powered analytics into core operations like floor care and inventory management. 

Partnering with global manufacturers such as Tennant Company and Dane Technologies, we create scalable, self-driving robots based on our BrainOS® platform. Today, more than 30,000 robots are deployed worldwide utilizing the BrainOS® platform across commercial environments open to the public, including stores, schools, warehouses, hospitals, airports, and more. 

By deploying robots using BrainOS®, end customers gain access to an advanced suite of capabilities, including robotic autonomy, analytics, operations tools, and autonomy services. Through our product suite and services, organizations are turning physically manual operations into automated, intelligent workflows that are more efficient and productive, ultimately providing essential support for teams facing understaffing and overwhelming demand. 

Can you expand on Brain Corp’s goal of creating a safer and more efficient future through the use of the world’s largest fleet of AMRs?

GD: We aim to help transform industries by leveraging the power of AMRs to make workplaces safer, more enjoyable, and more productive, especially in areas where people are working on dull, dirty, and dangerous tasks.   

By automating repetitive and potentially hazardous operations, especially in areas like commercial floor care, robots can minimize the incidence of accidents and injuries in the workplace. This not only protects human workers but also reduces costly downtime and other liabilities.  

Additionally, in the context of efficiency and productivity, almost every industry is being impacted by a worldwide chronic labor shortage. Robots provide a solution to make up for the shortfalls in labor availability, helping support their teams by removing the burden of monotonous, time-consuming tasks, which we see in the applications we address between floor care and inventory management.  

Consider the retail industry, for example. It has been reported associates are not satisfied, a statement backed by the fact that 75 percent of retail workers report being bored at work, and a “quit rate” outpacing the overall US quit rate by more than 70 percent. Retailers regularly face the challenge of replacing more than half of their store staff every year, which puts a burden on the remaining team and the business.  

This is why we have focused on powering robotic and AI solutions that can significantly help retailers and their teams achieve more.   
For example, we have partnered with Dane Technologies to create the Dane AIR™, a fully autonomous inventory scanning robot that can help retailers remove a huge time burden on its employees, allowing them to have more time to handle tasks that align with what they want to do – sell and serve the customers.

How is Brain Corp driving robotic and AI applications at scale, empowering organizations to automate and infuse intelligence into core operations?

GD: Utilizing a platform approach to robotics, we have teamed up with global manufacturers to create and deploy robots across industries. This strategy allows us to expand our business while providing a better solution for our customers through: 

  • Extensive sales and support networks: Our partnerships with global manufacturers offer unmatched reach compared to standalone robotics companies. This means our customers, particularly those with nationwide or global operations, benefit from robust sales, deployment, and support networks already in place covering all their locations. The reliability of these networks is unparalleled. 
  • Flexible machinery options: Organizations vary in size and requirements. By collaborating with manufacturers capable of offering a range of machine sizes, we empower organizations to select equipment tailored to each location’s needs. This flexibility is especially beneficial for multi-site operations needing automation solutions with different size specifications. 
  • Exceptional performance: Teaming up with established manufacturers ensures top-quality equipment, enhancing the customer experience. For instance, in the cleaning sector, while some robotics companies excel in autonomy, they may lack expertise in making high-performance cleaning equipment. Similarly, cleaning manufacturers may lack the necessary expertise to create effective robotic solutions. By integrating our BrainOS® platform, which powers over 30,000 robots and has extensive navigation intelligence, with manufacturers like Tennant Company with over 150 years of cleaning equipment expertise, we deliver a superior, scalable solution with the best equipment and autonomous technology. 

Your AMRs deployed in retail environments cover millions of square meters a week, with inventory scanning robots capturing over 20 million images a day. Can you tell us more about this?

GD: Through the BrainOS® platform, which powers the largest global fleet of AMRs in operation in commercial public spaces, we are delivering automated solutions in both commercial floor cleaning and inventory management. 

In 2023, we achieved a significant milestone, surpassing 30,000 deployed robots worldwide running on the BrainOS® platform, adding 5,700 new robots across 265 customers in the past year alone. This unprecedented scale of real-world deployments positions us as an industry leader, fostering rapid learning and driving innovation across our fleet. 

Additionally, inventory scanning robots running on the BrainOS® platform captured over 7.9 billion shelf images in 2023. Utilizing advanced AI, this massive dataset of images collected by robots is then used to help stores identify out-of-stock items, pricing errors, and misplaced products, empowering retailers to maintain accurate inventory and enhance their customers’ experiences. 

Some of our other milestones achieved in 2023 included:  

  • Our fleet of floor scrubbing robots utilizing the BrainOS® platform covered 38 billion square feet, an area roughly the size of Luxembourg. 
  • Floor scrubbing robots running on the BrainOS® platform logged over 2.3 million hours of autonomous operation in 2023, equivalent to around 287,000 workdays of added productivity.

Can you provide some key details about your plan to make autonomous robot inventory scanning a standard in retail?

GD: For retailers, maintaining and managing an accurate in-store inventory is one of their biggest challenges. Currently, the majority of retailers manually track in-store inventory by deploying associates to meticulously identify inconsistencies amongst tens of thousands of stock-keeping units (SKUs), looking for issues with product availability, price tags, and product locations.  

This challenge becomes even more significant when considering the customer’s perspective. For customers, inventory represents their wants and needs, and they expect to find what they want, where they want it, when they want it, and at the expected price. Failing to meet these expectations can result in lost trust, loyalty, and revenue. 

Automating the process of tracking inventory in stores with robots and AI can help retailers save by reducing losses from out-of-stock and pricing discrepancies, which costs retailers more than six percent of their total sales, according to The Food Institute.  

Already, we have a significant deployment of inventory scanning robots at Sam’s Clubs nationwide, marking the largest deployment of its kind to date, but our goal is to standardize robotic inventory scanning across the retail industry.  

To achieve even greater scale, we recently unveiled the Dane AIR™ during NRF 2024, an inventory scanning robot designed for fully autonomous operation. This smaller, nimbler robot is designed for dynamic store environments, offering a solution that will enable us to bring a robotic inventory scanning solution to a wider set of retailers than before.  

During NRF 2024, we also introduced the BrainOS® InventoryAI Suite, an AI-powered inventory analytics solution, providing retailers with end-to-end, efficient inventory management. This analytics offering enables retailers to take action on data collected by Dane AIR™ by identifying and sharing critical issues with associates, such as out-of-stock items, price tag errors, promotional compliance issues, and misplaced products. 

What about the new retail solutions you are launching in the coming weeks? Can you tell us more about these? 

GD: We just unveiled a new inventory analytics solution, the BrainOS® InventoryAI Suite, and an autonomous robotic solution in partnership with Dane Technologies, the Dane AIR™, to revolutionize inventory management in retail. With multiple pilots already underway with some of the world’s biggest retailers, we are excited by the positive impact these solutions will have on retailers, their associates, and their customers.  

So, more exciting news is just around the corner, as these pilots will soon turn to full-scale deployments!

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