Universal Robots is celebrating a decade of making collaborative robots, or cobots.
Linatex, a Danish supplier of technical plastics and rubber for industrial applications, bought a UR5 robot arm from Universal Robots to automate CNC machine tending in December 2008. Linatex deployed it right alongside its employees, instead of fencing the robot off with guarding in the traditional fashion for industrial robots.
Linatex technicians also were able to program the robot on their own, with no prior programming experience.
Universal Robot co-founder and Chief Technical Officer Esben Østergaard delivered the first robot himself after leading a small team through three years of development in a basement at the University of Southern Denmark. Earlier this year, he was awarded the Engleberger Award, considered the “Nobel Prize” of robotics.
“Ten years might seem like a long time, and it's definitely been quite a journey,” Østergaard said, “but we've only just started to scratch the surface.
"I continue to see our cobots power new applications that we never imagined when we first launched.”
Cobots are now the fastest-growing segment of industrial automation, and are expected to increase to more than a third of all robot sales by 2015, according to the Robotic Industries Association.
Universal Robots, based in Odense, Denmark, is part of Teradyne Inc. of North Reading, Mass.
Tel. 011 45 89 93 89 89, email [email protected].