ODENSE, Denmark, August 30 – Purple Robotics, which has just developed an innovative vacuum gripper within just one year—the world’s first gripper specifically for cobots—has now been acquired by OnRobot. The acquisition takes place a mere two months after the OnRobot merger of three robotics companies from the United States, Hungary and Denmark that created one global player with a strong focus on the market for industrial robot accessories.
Now, OnRobot adds another trail-blazing technology to the product mix. With the acquisition of Purple Robotics, OnRobot can now offer its partners the world’s first dual vacuum gripper. The gripper attracted international robot industry attention when the inventors presented it in June at Automatica, the world’s largest robotics fair.
Purple Robotics was established by the three Danish “super-nerds” Lasse Kieffer, Henrik Tillitz Hansen and Peter Nadolny Madsen, all of whom have a background as product developers at Universal Robots, the company behind the world’s first cobot. OnRobot is now infusing this valuable expertise into its own existing R&D department at its headquarters in Odense. Lasse Kieffer, Purple Robotics CEO, looks forward to joining the OnRobot organization together with his colleagues.
“It has been really good fun to create a brand new robotics company and to disrupt the market for vacuum grippers with our invention,” Lasse Kieffer said. “It makes a lot of sense and creates significant synergy to join forces with OnRobot, which has already created a strong, global sales organization. This means that we can focus 100 percent on developing the world’s coolest robotics products. Together, we can go far.”
Already sold in 25 countries 3 months after launch
Since entering the market, Purple Robotics has experienced a veritable onslaught from partners worldwide wishing to be able to offer the product to their customers. Already three months after launching the product, 40 partners in 25 countries have concluded partnership agreements with Purple Robotics for the patented innovation.
The Purple Robotics dual vacuum gripper can, so to speak, give a robot arm two “hands” and thereby the ability to handle several items simultaneously and solving multiple tasks in one movement. Additionally, it has an electric pump integrated in the gripper itself, meaning users do not need to worry about hoses, compressed air, and cables as with conventional vacuum gripper solutions.
The vacuum gripper meets a clear need in the global industry for efficient and flexible robot solutions that are simple and quick to commission. It takes less than 30 minutes to install the Purple Robotics gripper on a robot and start it up. The vacuum gripper is able to gently and efficiently handle items of many different dimensions, weights, materials and shapes. The lifting capacity is 10 kilograms (22 lbs) and the robot gripper is designed for use on a wide range of light-weight robots from all robot manufacturers.
“It must be easily conceivable to automate even small production batches,” said Enrico Krog Iversen, CEO, OnRobot. “Otherwise, robot technology is not a good investment. This is why we hand pick the best and most user-friendly robot products and integrate them in OnRobot. We are extremely pleased to now be able to offer our robot partners and integrators the vacuum gripper, just as we look forward to being able to add the top-class Purple Robotics robot developers to our development department.”
The acquisition of Purple Robotics means that the Vacuum Gripper will be presented in the United States to robot equipment buyers at the IMTS fair in Chicago September 10-15. After the spring merger of the three robotics companies OnRobot, Perception Robotics and OptoForce, the OnRobot product range now features a wide assortment of robot equipment, including electric grippers, force-moment sensors, gecko grippers and tactile sensors.
“We are now one step closer to our vision of offering ‘one-stop-shopping’ for buyers of robot accessories,” Enrico Krog Iversen added. “Purple Robotics will definitely not be our last acquisition. We have our eye on a number of other interesting companies around the world.”
OnRobot has also recently welcomed another strong international investor to the ownership roster – the American venture fund Summit Partners.
OnRobot is located in Odense and offers technologies – hardware as well as software – used for solutions involving collaborating robots, cobots. OnRobot develops grippers, sensors, and other cobot equipment which makes the use of technology easier in areas such as packaging, quality control, materials handling, machine maintenance, assembly, and welding. In addition to the head office in Denmark, OnRobot now also has sales offices in Germany, China, USA, Spain, Malaysia, and Hungary, and now has more than 100 employees. Visit www.onrobot.com for further information.