Rapid Robotics and Universal Robots team up to accelerate cobot deployments

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A UR cobot performs a place operation.

A UR cobot performs a place operation. | Credit: Universal Robots

Rapid Robotics and Universal Robots (UR) just announced a new partnership. UR, a Danish company that makes collaborative robots (cobots), will supply Rapid Robotics with collaborative robot arms so that it can set up cobot work cells all over North America. This means that Rapid Robotics will be able to serve more customers and keep the quick deployment times that customers have come to expect, even as Rapid Robotics continues to grow across the country.

“As the number of unfilled, critical manufacturing roles increases and global economic uncertainty continues to impact supply chains, more and more North American manufacturers are turning to automation,” said Jordan Kretchmer, CEO and Co-Founder of Rapid Robotics. “This collaboration with UR helps us deploy more cobots, with a wider variety of capabilities, at a faster rate, ultimately helping manufacturers of all shapes and sizes manage and even thrive through the adversity they are facing.”

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Rapid Robotics is integrated with and can use any cobot from the UR product line. This makes it possible to add new functions like palletizing, box building and packing, and tasks that need a heavier payload or longer reach. Rapid Robotics will also be able to build work cells and choose peripheral equipment with more freedom.

Together, Rapid Robotics and UR also speed up cobot deployments in new ways. UR’s two-week ship program is one of the fastest in the industry, and Rapid Robotics’ powerful mix of state-of-the-art AI, advanced vision systems, and a unique software stack means robots can be up and running in customer facilities in a matter of weeks instead of the usual months to years.

“Universal Robots has spent the last decade in North America focused on freeing up more manpower by automating a wide range of human-scale tasks with easy-to-deploy cobots,” says Bryan Bird, Universal Robots’ Regional Sales President. “We’re excited to work with Rapid Robotics in a partnership that will enable us to break down more automation barriers, deploying a robotic workforce to address those jobs manufacturers simply can’t staff.”

In 2022, UR brought in $326 million, a 5% increase in annual revenue from 2021 and a 12% growth on a constant currency basis. UR is part of the robotics division at Teradyne and delivered $85 million in sales in Q4 2022, down from $97 million in Q4 2021.

A big change for both new and old Rapid Robotics customers is that there are now more ways and things that can be automated. Existing customers who want to grow their businesses or fill open positions for machine operators can automate even more of their lines with UR’s cobots, which have new features. Rapid Robotics’s expanded product line makes automation easier and faster to start for new customers than ever before.

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