Universal Robots is a Danish based robotic manufacturer that specializes in producing collaborative robots. The company was founded in 2005 on the notion that the robotics industry lacked small, affordable industrial robots to automate small to medium sized companies. Since their inception, Universal Robots has developed their UR robot family. Their UR product line features several lightweight, compact, and low payload six axis robot models. Their cobots have been deployed in numerous industries including the automotive, food, electronics, machining, and pharmaceutical industries.
Universal Robots’ collaborative robot line is composed of their original UR series and their new e-series. Each robot model name corresponds with the given payload for that particular model. For instance, the UR10 has a payload capacity of 10 kg. All of their cobots are configured with 6 axes for a wide range of motion, making them extremely flexible.
The collaborative robots of Universal Robots are all capable of working directly alongside workers, assisting them with a variety of manufacturing tasks. Due to their enhanced safety features, they can operate collaboratively with humans without the need for safety barriers. Their safety systems are approved and certified by The German Technical Inspection Association. These articulated robot systems include adjustable force sensors that will stop robot operation should force be detected, ensuring worker safety.
The ability of UR cobots to operate alongside and directly assist workers can allow for productivity rates to double. UR cobots are designed with multi-application capabilities. They can perform robotic assembly, automated dispensing, finishing, machine tending, material handling, material removal, inspection, and robotic welding applications. All UR cobots can be easily redeployed should manufacturing processes change without disruption to production line layouts.
All UR cobots feature a small footprint, making them ideal for those with limited space. Their compact size allows for multiple mounting options including floor, ceiling, and wall for complete production line optimization. Programming an UR cobot is made easy with the ability for users to simply guide the cobot’s arm through the desired application path. These movements can then be fine-tuned with a touchscreen tablet that comes with the UR cobots. This allows users with little to no robotic experience to be able to program and operate an UR robot.
The UR5 was the first collaborative robot to be released by Universal in 2008. It featured a 5 kg payload with an 850 mm reach. In 2012, the UR10 was released with the tabletop UR3 following in 2015.
In 2018, Universal Robots launched their e-series collaborative robot family. This series built upon the success of their original UR series by releasing updated versions of the UR cobots, the UR3e, UR5e, and the UR10e. The “e” in the robot model names stands for empowering, ease of use, everyone, and evolution. The e-series cobots feature the same payloads and reaches as their predecessors. Universal improved the precision of the e-series with a repeatability range between 0.03 mm to 0.05 mm as opposed to the 0.1 mm of the original UR cobots. In addition, the e-series cobots feature improved safety systems and a redesigned teach pendant. In 2019, Universal launched their heaviest lifting cobot, the UR16e with a 16 kg payload capacity.