Approaches, such as Cloud Robotics, Robot-as-a-Service, merged Internet of Things and robotics, and Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) in production, show that the industrial robotics domain experiences a paradigm shift that increasingly links robots in real-life factories with virtual reality. However, despite the growing body of research to date, though insightful, the paradigm shift to CPS in industrial robotics remains an under-researched area. Findings from the present paper make several contributions to the current state of research: We provide a potentially reusable framework of analysis and apply this framework in order to reveal whether and to what extent the industrial robotics branch implements abilities and characteristics of CPS. We examine the top five industrial robot manufacturers ABB, Fanuc, Kawasaki, Kuka, and Yaskawa and identify considerable, current implementations. However, concerning one of three perspectives—the perspective on CPS as industry platform constructs, takes the industrial robotics branch only certain small steps towards CPS platforms. We discuss them and outline a set of business model patterns that can transform product innovations, enabled by abilities and characteristics of CPS, into business model innovations in the industrial robot domain. In order to enable the industry to exploit the full potential of industrial robots understood as CPS, we question the right degree of openness in the context of industry platform constructs. Our methodological approach combines conceptual with empirical research.
Mikusz, Martin and Csiszar, Akos, "CPS Platform Approach to Industrial Robots: State of the Practice, Potentials, Future Research Directions" (2015). PACIS 2015 Proceedings. 176.