Denmark-based Universal Robots (UR) has bought greater than 50,000 collaborative robotic arms because it was based. It has a community of 1,100-plus integrators, distributors and unbiased companions worldwide serving to it develop the collaborative robotics market.
Earlier this morning at Automatica in Munich, Germany, UR launched its quickest, strongest cobot arm up to now: the UR20, which provides a 20 kg payload, 1750 mm attain and 30% extra pace and torque in comparison with its present fashions. The corporate is looking the UR20 “probably the most progressive cobot now we have produced.” In fact, the UR20 wasn’t constructed in a single day. It’s taken UR 17-plus years to get thus far.
We thought it will be enjoyable to look again at UR’s journey and spotlight a number of the milestones alongside the best way.
2005: Common Robots launches
Common Robots is formally based by three college students who met on the College of Denmark: Kristian Kassow, Esben Østergaard and Kasper Støy. Their purpose was to make robotic expertise accessible to small and medium-sized enterprises. An funding by Syddansk Innovation, a enterprise capital agency based mostly in Odense, Denmark, made the institution of the corporate doable.
2008: UR sells its first cobot
UR’s first cobot sale was a UR5. It was bought in December 2008 by Linatex, a Danish provider of technical plastics and rubber for industrial functions. Linatex used the UR5 cobot to automate CNC machine tending. You possibly can examine Linatex’s use of UR cobots here.
Østergaard delivered the cobot after having led a small group by way of three years of growth in a basement at College of Southern Denmark.
2012: UR launches first-generation UR10
Focused in direction of producers with bigger duties, the primary model of the UR10 featured a lifting capability of 10 kg and a attain of 130 cm. UR additionally established an American subsidiary based mostly in New York.
2015: Teradyne acquires Common Robots for $285M
Teradyne, a Massachusetts-based developer of digital testing gear, acquired UR for $285 in money. The deal included a $65 million efficiency clause if sure targets had been met.
On the time of the acquisition, Teradyne president and CEO Mark Jagiela stated UR enhances the corporate’s system and wi-fi check companies whereas including a robust development platform to the corporate. Teradyne has since expanded its industrial automation portfolio by buying AutoGuide Cellular Robots, Energid and Cellular Industrial Robots (MiR).
In 2015, Common Robots additionally launched the table-top cobot UR3. The brand new 3 kilo payload cobot is good for gentle meeting duties and automatic workbench situations.
2016: UR+ ecosystem launches
The corporate launches the UR+ ecosystem, a web-based store for grippers, equipment, imaginative and prescient methods and software program wanted to finish a cobot workcell.
2018: Introducing the e-Sequence
UR launched its e-Sequence cobots at Automatica in June 2018. The e-Sequence initially featured the UR3e (3 kg payload, 500mm attain), UR5e (5 kg payload, 850mm attain) and UR10e (10 kg payload, 1300mm attain). UR has since elevated the UR10e’s payload to 12.5 kg and launched the UR16e.
On the time, UR spokesperson advised The Robotic Report the e-Sequence was the equal of “upgrading from the previous iPhone to a brand new iPhone.” Among the main advantages included new software program, a built-in drive/torque sensor, a 500Hz bus frequency and a better decision train pendant.
Additionally in 2018, Østergaard received the Engelberger Robotics Award, which has lengthy been thought-about the Nobel Prize of robotics.
UR provides the heavy-duty UR16e to its portfolio, that includes a 16 kg payload functionality. The cobot arm combines the excessive payload with a attain of 900 mm and pose repeatability of +/- 0.05 mm making it suited to automating duties similar to heavy-duty materials dealing with, heavy-part dealing with, and machine tending.
2020: ActiNav autonomous bin choosing
UR launched ActiNav, an autonomous bin-picking package for machine-tending functions. ActiNav was an addition to the UR+ utility kits, a collection of “plug-and-produce” kits UR stated will make it simpler to deploy collaborative robots for frequent functions.
UR won a 2021 RBR50 Robotics Innovation Award for ActiNav. It makes use of a teach-by-demonstration method through a wizard-guided setup course of on the cobot’s train pendant. The system may be deployed in lower than two hours.
UR additionally in 2020 bought its 50,000th cobot ever. It was bought by VEMA technische Kunststoffteile GmbH and VEMA Werkzeug- und Formenbau GmbH, a producer positioned in Krauchenwies-Göggingen, Germany, that on the time had three different cobots from UR. Jürgen von Hollen, president of UR on the time, delivered the cobot to mark the milestone.
The UR20, which has been redesigned from the bottom up, is the primary mannequin in a brand new collection of next-generation cobots. The UR20 contains a 20 kg payload, 1750 mm attain, ± 0.05 mm repeatability and as much as 30% extra pace and torque when in comparison with different UR cobots. The important thing to the elevated efficiency is a brand new joint design.
UR advised The Robotic Report extra new cobots shall be launched in late 2023 or early 2024.