ODENSE, Denmark--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Purple Robotics, founded by key developers behind the world’s first collaborative robot (cobot), has launched the PR10, an innovative vacuum gripper designed for collaborative applications. With its double-grip function, the PR10 can handle several items in a single operation, enabling small and mid-sized businesses to reduce production time by up to 50%. Unlike traditional vacuum grippers, the PR10 requires no external air supply so there are no cumbersome air hoses to manage and the gripper works independently of changes in the pressure, cleanliness and availability of external air. The gripper can be installed in less than 30 minutes with no prior training, which dramatically reduces both the cost of implementation and changeover time between production lines. With round edges and easy implementation, the PR10 is designed for safe, collaborative implementation alongside human workers, using any of Universal Robots (UR) three models. The PR10 is ideal for a wide range of applications, including pick-and-place, machine tending and palletizing.
“Our experience with Universal Robots clarified that the market needed a new generation of robotic vacuum applications,” says Lasse Kieffer, CEO and founder of Purple Robotics. “We are entering a market with sky-high growth rates, and we have the development and distribution experience to match our aggressive goals.”
The global market for collaborative robots, or cobots, is estimated to reach USD 3.3 billion by 2020, with annual growth rates of more than 50%, according to Qyresearch Publishing. The PR10 gripper has the potential to be applied to the majority of cobot applications. The PR10 combined with a robot arm is especially attractive for small and mid-sized companies whose competitiveness depends on their ability to change over and deliver quickly, without requiring extensive robotics expertise.
UR+ Partnership and U.S. Sales and Distribution Network Establish Purple Robotics as a Strong Market Player
Purple Robotics has already signed two U.S. distributors—Olympus Controls and Thinkbot Solutions— and expects to shortly add nearly half a dozen more, resulting in coast-to-coast distribution and support in the U.S.
“The PR10 is a one-size-fits-all solution that eliminates the barrier to entry that is typically caused by customers’ unfamiliarity with pneumatics,” says Nick Armenta, automation engineer at Olympus Controls. “Existing vacuum systems require custom design and usually at least five different parts, sometimes from different sources. A single package that can be bought off-the-shelf and quickly deployed without any engineering is a huge benefit for our customers.”
Philip Courtois, owner of Thinkbot Solutions, says, “There simply hasn’t been a vacuum gripper available that matches the ease, flexibility and functionality of the Purple Robotics PR10. I believe the PR10 will become the default choice for customers wanting a flexible vacuum solution for their UR robot, and it’s reassuring to them that the team behind Purple Robotics bring extensive experience from Universal Robots.”
Purple Robotics has already entered into a partnership agreement with the founders’ former employer, Universal Robots and has just been included in the UR+ global online distribution channel for pre-certified robotics accessories. In this partnership, Purple Robotics joins more than 77 industry-leading developers of robotics software, accessories, and end-of-arm tooling, who—after being screened and accepted—share this important sales channel with Universal Robots.
“With Purple Robotics’ innovative double-gripper, Universal Robots strengthens the range of ground-breaking accessories offered to customers and potential customers across the world – while increasing the market potential of our robot arms. It’s a win-win,” says Anders Bo Rasmussen, Senior Product Manager for UR+ at Universal Robots.
To drive the launch and build a strong global distribution network, Purple Robotics has hired Kenneth B. Henriksen, an established name in the industry, as its new CCO. Henriksen brings to Purple Robotics an extensive engineering background and experience in technical sales and sales management, most recently with robotics company On Robot.
About the Purple Robotics Founders
Lasse Kieffer, Purple Robotics’ founder and CEO, is an experienced electronics engineer who was a key developer behind the world’s first cobot at Universal Robots. Kieffer was the first person to be employed by the three founders of Universal Robots in 2007, when the first prototype was created. During his nine years at Universal Robots, he saw the need for customized tools for collaborative robots. Parallel to his career as an entrepreneur, Lasse Kieffer is also chairman of S-850, the Danish national robotics committee established by Danish Standards’ (Dansk Standard). The committee represents Denmark in relation to robotics safety standards on a European (CEN) and international level (ISO). Over the last few years, a record-breaking amount of robot standards has been written and Kieffer has been highly active in the development of ISO standards for collaborative robots.
Joining him are two experienced previous colleagues from Universal Robots: software and megatronic engineer and co-founder, CTO Peter Nadolny Madsen, and machine and mechanical engineer, COO Henrik Tilletz Hansen. Together, the three entrepreneurs have 18 years of robotics experience from the world’s leading cobot company.
About Purple Robotics
Purple Robotics offers flexible off-the-shelf solutions designed for easy collaborative operation with people, easy installation and risk assessment, and quick installment times. Purple Robotics has created PR10, an innovative vacuum gripper designed to be attached to a Universal Robot robot arm. With an innovative double grip function, it can handle several items in a single operation, reducing production time by up to 50% as a result. Purple Robotics is founded by a team of three former developers from Universal Robots. Purple Robotics is based in Odense, Denmark in the Startup Hub of one of the world’s top robotics clusters, Odense Robotics.
Video: How to install the PR10 in less than 30 minutes:
Product and team photos: