On the North American market for four months, Universal Robots is expanding its reach into the U.S. after a positive response for its Danish designed "collaborative" robots. Conceived in 2003, the Danish company was created with the intention of marketing a line of "light and relatively inexpensive robots, that are easy to install and program."
Started by two Danish students working towards their PhD, the company looked to offer an alternative in a robotics market they felt was characterized by "heavy, expensive and unwieldy robots." With help from investor Syddansk Innovation and the Danish state investment fund, which put DKK 10 million into the company, Universal Robots launched in 2008.
The company's North American debut was at the IMTS tradeshow in Chicago last September. It will be participating in the upcoming Automate Show in Chicago's McCormick Place (Jan. 21 - 25). The company says since selling its first robot in 2009, it not sells automation 40 countries worldwide.
The product portfolio includes the UR5 and UR10 models, which handle payloads of up to 11.3 and 22.6 lb, respectively. The six-axis robot arms weigh as little as 40 lb with reach capabilities of up to 51 inches. The UR robots are in compliance with the ISO standard for collaborative robots, so that as soon as an employee comes into contact with the robot arm, the robot arm will automatically stop operating. Universal Robot says its robots have a repeatability of ±.004 inch for precision handling of very small parts.