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Universal Robots now has nationwide distribution coverage in United States and Canada. Click the map to locate a distributor in your area.
Since Universal Robots launched in North America half a year ago, the user-friendly, lightweight robot arms from Denmark have been met with overwhelming interest from both distributors and end customers.The Universal Robots are a result of many years of intensive research in robotics. They can easily be implemented in all sorts and sizes of industry; from a small CNC lathe production to large automobile assembly lines. The Danish company has located their U.S. headquarters in New York and is busy creating a rapidly expanding distributor network. National sales manager, Ed Mullen, says that potential distributors have basically been lining up to sell the collaborative robots as they started showcasing the robots to end customers with production processes previously thought impossible to automate due to cost and complexity:“Companies need to make their processes more efficient, cut costs, and use labor more effectively in settings where employees can work alongside the robot,” he says. “This is where I see the strength of Universal Robots: Our product addresses those needs, can operate with no safety guarding, and places us at the extreme leading edge of a change in industrial automation.”
The collaborative UR robots
Universal Robots has two different robot arms, the UR5 and the UR10 named after their respective payload in kilos (11 lbs for UR5 and 22 lbs for UR10). Due to the light weight of the robots, the UR5 weighs only 40.6 lbs, the UR10 63.7 lbs, the UR robots are easily moved around the production site to complete new automation tasks.
With a reach capacity of up to 51”, speed of 39”/s and repeatability of +/- .004”, the six-axis robots enable quick, dexterous precision handling of even the smallest items.
Unlike room-sized, heavy automation technology, the flexible UR robot can be used directly alongside humans with no safety guarding; Instead of expensive sensor technology, the robotic arm utilizes a unique patented technology to measure electrical current in the joints to determine force and movement. If an employee comes into contact with the robot, the robot will stop moving. Of the more than 1,600 robots sold worldwide, 80% of these operate with no safety guard.
The UR robots enjoy longevity; rated life is 35,000 hours with full payload and maximum speed. Replacing a joint can be done in 30 minutes. The robot arms can withstand significant environmental impact and changes in temperature. They have low power consumption and a comparatively noiseless operation.
A fast learner
Due to its intuitive graphical user interface, the UR robot can be set up and programmed in as little as half an hour. The user does not need to be a skilled programmer to do this, programming can be done by using the simple arrow keys on the accompanying touchscreen tablet, – or by simply grabbing the robot arm and demonstrating the desired positions.
Universal Robots developed the GUI, called Polyscope, which runs on top of a Linux OS platform and enables easy customization for specific tasks and tools. The Polyscope platform needed for this is supplied with the robot. The robots are equipped with digital and analog I/O ports, and interface with external equipment and other control systems such as PLC and SCADA systems through the I/O or Ethernet socket. The robot can control a small cell as well as sensors, vision systems, activation of conveyors, and other external equipment. Custom end-of-arm tooling is available through third-party providers for additional flexibility and specialization.
Universal Robots is a first mover within a new segment of collaborative robots focusing on user friendliness and flexibility. The company is headquartered in Odense, Denmark where all development and production is carried out.