Skip to main content

Collaborative Robotics

History of the cobots

How it all began

The word “robot’ is invented by the Czech writer Karel Capek and used in his science fiction stage play “Rossum’s Universal Robots”

The first industrial robot arm called a “Programmed Article Transfer device’ is patented by George Devol, who partners with Joseph Engelberger and launches it as the Unimate in 1959 with a first installation at General Motors.

Caged industrial robots requiring significant investments and programming expertise became widespread in the automotive industry and other manufacturing sectors.

A research team at the University of Southern Denmark compares existing automation solutions to market needs and discovers an opportunity to reinvent the industrial robot.

Universal Robots A/S is founded by 3 members of the research team at the University of Southern Denmark; Esben Østergaard, Kristian Kassow and Kasper Støy. Their goal is to develop a flexible, collaborative and user-friendly lightweight robot with a rapid ROI.

UR5, the world’s first collaborative robot able to operate safely alongside people enters the market.

The new UR10 collaborative robot with a linger reach and greater payload is launched globally.

“Collaborative Robotics” is recognized as a viable new class of robots; larger robot manufactures such as KUKA, ABB and Fanuc as wells as smaller startups like Rethink Robotics start launching and developing cobots.

The MiR100 is Beta Tested in Danish Industrial Companies and Hospitals.

  • 2013 ITS becomes the first Irish Distributor of the Universal Robot
  • 2014 ITS becomes preferred partner of Keyence UK for their vision systems
  • 2014 ITS completes First Installation of a Universal Robot in Ireland with Apple
  • 2015 ITS becomes sole distributor in Ireland for Robotiq
  • 2015 ITS becomes sole distributor in Ireland for On Robot2016 ITS becomes distributor for MiR
  • 2016 ITS establishes Robotic Centre of Excellence in Midleton

Universal Robots launches UR3, the world’s first collaborative table top robot.

CTO Universal Robots Founder Esben Østergaard invests in MiR.

ISO publishes the long awaited specification ISO/TS 15066, containing guidelines on how to ensure the safety of human workers in collaborative robotic systems.

Interested in discovering more about Collaborative Robotics for your manufacturing process?