Rapid Robotics is partnering with Universal Robots to fight labor shortages with swift cobot deployments

February 2, 2023

Rapid Robotics’ Rapid Machine Operator (RMO) can now be deployed with any cobots from the Universal Robots portfolio. (Photo: Business Wire)

SAN FRANCISCO—Rapid Robotics and the Danish collaborative robot (cobot) producer Universal Robots (UR) have established a partnership in which Universal Robots will be supplying collaborative robot arms for Rapid Robotics’ deployment of cobot work cells across North America, Rapid Robotics said in a release.

Universal Robots, an established manufacturer of versatile robots, is expected to enable Rapid Robotics to serve a greater number of customers and maintain the rapid deployment times they’ve come to expect, even as Rapid Robotics continues to expand its national footprint.

“As the number of unfilled, critical manufacturing roles increases and global economic uncertainty continues to impact supply chains, more and more North American manufacturers are turning to automation,” said Jordan Kretchmer, CEO and co-Founder of Rapid Robotics, in a statement. “This collaboration with UR helps us deploy more cobots, with a wider variety of capabilities, at a faster rate, ultimately helping manufacturers of all shapes and sizes manage and even thrive through the adversity they are facing.”

Rapid Robotics is integrated with, and can deploy, any cobot from the UR product portfolio, allowing for expansion in capabilities such as palletizing, box building, and packing, and operations requiring a heavier payload or longer reach. Rapid Robotics will also have greater flexibility in the design of work cells and selection of peripheral equipment.

Together, Rapid Robotics and UR are said to bring new levels of speed to cobot deployments. UR’s two-week ship program reportedly makes it one of the fastest in the industry. And Rapid Robotics’ powerful mix of state-of-the-art AI, advanced vision systems, and unique software stack means robots can be up and running in customer facilities in a matter of weeks, versus the typical months to years, the company said.

“Universal Robots has spent the last decade in North America focused on freeing up more manpower by automating a wide range of human-scale tasks with easy-to-deploy cobots,” said Universal Robots Regional Sales President Bryan Bird, in the release. “We’re excited to work with Rapid Robotics in a partnership that will enable us to break down more automation barriers, deploying a robotic workforce to address those jobs manufacturers simply can’t staff.”

According to Rapid Robotics, a greater variety in how and what can be automated represents a powerful shift for its new and existing customers. Existing customers wanting to grow their business or fill empty machine operator roles can see even more of their lines automated due to new capabilities afforded by UR’s cobots. For new customers, Rapid Robotics’ expanded portfolio “makes the automation journey more accessible, and faster, than ever before,” the company said.

The collaboration between Rapid Robotics and Universal Robots has resulted in an expansion in capabilities such as palletizing, box building, and packing. (Photo: Business Wire)

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