drag and bot GmbH is a spin-off of the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation (IPA) in Stuttgart. The company currently has 15 employees, including its 4 founders. drag and bot develops brand-independent software for the simple and intuitive programming of industrial robots. The focus is on the graphical user interface, which allows a fast and flexible creation of programs by drag and drop from pre-defined function blocks. The use of the software should enable manufacturing companies to implement new robot solutions and systems faster and more cost-effectively than before.

Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company?

drag and bot: Our main areas are Industrial robotics and automation and graphical user interfaces.

E.E: What’s the news for 2020 about new products?

drag and bot: We recently launched the drag&bot CLOUD Version which is a Web App and is designed as a free do-it-yourself potential analysis for production processes. In the user-friendly 3D environment, users can import their own CAD models and combine them with 3D models of robots, grippers and cells. A robot program can then be created with just a few clicks and the application can be simulated realistically. The result is a well-founded decision basis for automation in the form of a report on technical feasibility (e.g. on reachability or cycle times) and a ROI calculation.

E.E: What are the ranges of traded products?

drag and bot: Our products and services are all bundled around the main software framework drag&bot. We offer e.g. additional software modules, support contracts and specific software development.

E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active?

drag and bot: The Industrial robots market is a Growing commodity market and the Do-It-Yourself robotics market is at an Emerging stage.

E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?

drag and bot: There are 5 major trends in our market Low volume, high mix production situations: Customization & personalization in every product being manufactured increases complexity and unpredictability in production and makes building economically beneficial automation solutions really hard shorter product cycles, faster launches: Time to market for new automation solutions is crucial, a big part of the solution is easy-to-use software and a DIY-mindset of manufacturing companies.

Increased need for automation and scalability in SMEs: Lack of robot integration and programming expertise cause a big barrier for SMEs to start automating their production processes

Push to locate manufacturing closer to end consumer: Especially in a high wage country like Germany, saving labour costs by using robots is crucial for staying competitive

E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed?

drag and bot: The drag&bot SIMULATION is the first and only web/cloud-based robotics simulation in the world. Currently it is free for factories, who want to automate by themselves.

E.E: What estimations do you have for 2020?

drag and bot: While investments in new automation technology will be limited while the epidemic is ongoing, due to limited manufacturing output, most factories currently realize the potential of flexible robotics. We expect strong growth in the near future.