Universal Robots

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Universal Robots
Industry Automation
FounderEsben Østergaard
Kasper Støy
Kristian Kassow  OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
Headquarters Odense, Denmark
Key people
Kim Povlsen (CEO)
Products Industrial robots
RevenueUSD 219 million (2020)
Number of employees
700+ (2020)
Parent Teradyne
Website www.universal-robots.com

Universal Robots is a Danish manufacturer of smaller flexible industrial collaborative robot arms (cobots), based in Odense, Denmark. The business volume in 2020 was USD 219 million. The company has over 700 employees (2020) and over 1,100 partners around the world. [1]



Universal Robots was founded in 2005 by the engineers Esben Østergaard, Kasper Støy, and Kristian Kassow. [2] [3] During joint research at the Syddansk Universitet Odense, they came to the conclusion that the robotics market was dominated by heavy, expensive, and unwieldy robots. As a consequence they developed the idea to make robot technology accessible to small and medium-sized businesses. [4] In 2008 the first UR5 cobots were available on the Danish and German markets. In 2012 the second cobot, UR10, was launched. [5] At Automatica 2014 in Munich the company launched a totally revised version of its cobots. [6] One year later, in spring 2015, the table-top cobot UR3 was launched. [7] UR was purchased by Teradyne for US$285 million in 2015. [8] [9]

At Automatica 2018 in Munich, a new generation of Universal Robots' cobots called e-Series was launched. In September 2019, the company launched UR16e, suited for high-payload tasks, like heavy material handling, heavy machine tending, packaging and palletising, and autonomous mobile robots (AMRs).[ citation needed ]

By 2019 Universal Robots was the number one cobot manufacturer in the world with Taiwanese competitor Techman taking second place. [10]


The products consist of the table-top UR3 and UR3e, [11] the UR5 and UR5e, [12] the UR10 and UR10e, [13] and the heavy-duty UR16e.

All robots are six-jointed robot arms with a very low weight including cable of respectively 11 kg (24 lb), 20 kg (44 lb), and 33 kg (73 lb). The UR3 and UR3e have a lifting ability of 3 kg (6.6 lb) and a working radius of 500mm (19.7 in); the UR5 and UR5e have a lifting ability of 5 kg (11 lb) and a working radius of 850mm (33.5 in); the UR10 and UR10e have a lifting ability of 10 kg (22 lb) and a working radius of 1300mm (51.2 in); and the UR16e has a lifting ability of 16 kg (35 lb) and a working radius of 900mm (35.4 in). The e-Series has a pose repeatability between ± 0.03mm and 0.05mm.

Universal Robots collaborative robots (cobots) can work right alongside personnel with no safety guarding, based on the results of a mandatory risk assessment. [14]

The safety settings of the latest generation of Universal Robots’ lightweight cobots can be adjusted for each specific solution. [15] The robot arm can run in two operating modes of the safety functions; a normal and a reduced one. A switch between safety settings during the cobot's operation is also possible. All these safety functions are safety rated PL d (EN ISO 13849:2008 ) and certified by TÜV NORD. [16]

UR's cobots are used within both small to medium-sized businesses and large corporations [17] within industries such as automotive, electronics, metal and machining, pharmaceuticals, and manufacturing.

In 2016, the company launched its online ecosystem Universal Robots+, and in early 2017 it launched a new online digital learning platform called Universal Robots Academy. Through this platform, users go through nine learning modules, learning how to program the UR collaborative robots.

In 2018, a new generation of Universal Robots' cobots called e-Series was launched. The e-Series consists of four cobots: the UR3e, UR5e, UR10e, and the UR16e, which was launched in 2019. In comparison to the previous generation, the CB Series, they have a higher accuracy for both position repeatability (± 0.03, ± 0.03 and ± 0.05 mm) and force (± 3.5, ± 4.0 and ± 5.5 N) and torque (± 0.10, ± 0.30 and ± 0.60 Nm), since they have a built-in force/torque sensor. [18] With the e-Series, they also added a few more safety features, re-designed the teach pendant to be more intuitive and simplified the programming flow with more wizards.

In 2021, the Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing Institute recognized the Core Training program from UR Academy with an endorsement for their commitment to preparing students to pursue an Advanced Manufacturing / Robotics Industry 4.0 career. [19]

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  1. "Distributors of Universal Robots". universal-robots.com. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
  2. "Subscribe to read". Financial Times. Retrieved 2017-09-15.{{cite web}}: Cite uses generic title (help)
  3. "Our history | Universal Robots". www.universal-robots.com. Retrieved 2018-05-04.
  4. "Danish Firm Develops Light-Weight Robotic Arm". roboticstrends.com. Archived from the original on 11 April 2013. Retrieved 11 February 2013.
  5. "Robotic Solutions for Small and Medium-Sized Applications". automationworld.com. Retrieved 11 February 2013.
  6. "Universal Robots presents the next generation of lightweight robots". ifr.org. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
  7. "UR3-Roboter". Universal Robots. Archived from the original on 25 March 2015. Retrieved 5 May 2015.
  8. Godske, Bjørn. "Universal Robots solgt for 1,9 mia. kroner" Ingeniøren , 13 May 2015. Accessed: 13 May 2015.
  9. "Collaborative robots open new fronts in automation". The Business Times. Retrieved 2018-05-04.
  10. Huang, Elaine. "This Made-in-Taiwan Robot Is Drawing International Attention". english.cw.com.tw. CommonWealth. Retrieved 5 August 2019.
  11. "Technical specifications UR3" (PDF). Universal Robots. Retrieved 5 May 2015.
  12. "Technical specifications UR5" (PDF). Universal Robots. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
  13. "Technical specifications UR10" (PDF). Universal Robots. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
  14. "ISO/TS 15066:2016 Robots and robotic devices -- Collaborative robots"
  15. "Universal Robots' tablet-controlled factory robots work safely with humans". newatlas.com. Retrieved 2017-09-15.
  16. "Universal Robots Develops Lightweight Robots". ceasiamag.com. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
  17. "Cheaper robots can help SMEs become more flexible". emtworld.com. Retrieved 11 February 2013.
  18. "e-Series Technical Introduction". Universal Robots. Retrieved 2018-07-23.
  19. "Universal Robots and Fortress Academy Earn ARM Institute Endorsement". RoboticsCareer.org. Retrieved 2021-10-27.

External links [1]

  1. "Universal Robots UR3 Arm Is Small and Nimble, Helps to Build Copies of Itself". Universal Robots UR3 Arm Is Small and Nimble, Helps to Build Copies of Itself. Retrieved 2019-08-20.