Fast-growing Universal Robots acquired by Teradyne

Teradyne has agreed to buy Denmark’s Universal Robots for
$US 285 million in cash.

“Universal
Robots is the technology and sales leader in the fast growing collaborative
robot market and we are excited to have them join Teradyne,” said Mark Jagiela, President and CEO of Teradyne, in a statement.

“This
acquisition complements our System and Wireless Test businesses while adding a
powerful, additional growth platform to Teradyne.”

Teradyne, a New York Stock Exchange-listed company
specialising in automatic test equipment, will also pay an additional $US 65 million
for the privately-held robot company if certain performance targets
are met through to 2018.

Teradyne reported revenues of $US 1.65 billion last year.

Universal has been profitable since late 2010, said to its CEO Enrico Krog Iversen, and has sold over 4,000 robots worldwide. It is also growing at a
rapid rate, with revenue up 70 per cent in 2014 compared to the previous year.

“The [deal] will boost our ability to innovate and recruit even more and thus will extend our lead within collaborative robotics and be of benefit to all our end-users and partners,” said Iverson. 

“At the same time, we are proud to add a brand new line of business to Teradyne.”

According to the company a recent interview, Universal
Robots has sold about 50 units in Australia, 10 of these to Boeing Australia.
It is distributed locally by Auto Control Systems and Sensorplex

The statement from Teradyne puts the growth of the
collaborative robot market at 50 per cent annually.

Collaborative robots feature force-sensing abilities that make them safe to work alongside human workers, are designed to be easy to program, and generally carry small payloads.

BostInno notes that Teradyne shares a home state with
Universal’s main rival, Boston’s Rethink Robotics, which
makes the Baxter and Sawyer lines of co-bots.

To read a Manufacturers’ Monthly article published
earlier this month on the high level of interest in co-bots – featuring interviews
with Universal, Rethink, the CSIRO and the International Federation of Robots –
click here.

Image: http://blog.robotiq.com/