Universal Robots, a developer of collaborative or force-limited industrial robots, has been acquired by automatic test equipment company Teradyne for $285 million net cash acquired plus $65 million if certain performance targets are met extending through 2018.
The acquisition has been approved by the board of directors of each company and is expected to close in Q2 of 2015, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approval.
Collaborative, or force-limited robots, represent an emerging $100 million market with forecasted rapid growth, according to the press release. Universal Robots has developed and sold more than 4,000 units, including the UR5 and UR10 collaborative robotic arms. These six-axis robotic arms meet the requirements specified of the ISO 13849:2008 safety standard for industrial robots, as defined by the International Organization for Standardization.
One recent application, which was covered in the May issue of Vision Systems Design, is a vision-guided robot that features a UR5 collaborative robot arm that is used to perform neurosurgical procedures. In the system, a GigE camera from Point Grey is mounted onto the end-effector of a UR5 robot that automatically captures images of surgical instruments within a port—a tube-shaped shaft that is used to provide an opening into a specific area of the brain—as it moves during surgery.
"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. "This acquisition complements our System and Wireless Test businesses while adding a powerful, additional growth platform to Teradyne."
Universal Robotics achieved record revenue growth in 2014, as revenue increased 70% from 2013, reaching more than $38 million (US) with profit more than doubling from the prior period. The move is expected to establish Teradyne’s position early in a high-growth segment of industrial automation.
"The combination 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. At the same time, we are proud to add a brand new line of business to Teradyne," said Enrico Krog Iversen, CEO of Universal Robots. "Our operations have been profitable since late 2010. Teradyne’s world-class engineering and support capabilities and strong financial position will help accelerate the growth of our collaborative robots in new and existing markets, especially in Asia where Teradyne holds a very strong position."
View the press release.
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