Danish collaborative robot (cobot) manufacturer Universal Robots has announced the opening of its first UK collaborative robotics (cobotics) centre in Sheffield.
The company chose Sheffield based on the region’s industrial and manufacturing legacy, with the hope of helping more UK manufacturers unlock the benefits of robotics, cobotics and automation.
The new robotics hub will house offices and a technology showroom for demonstrations. Training sessions and meetings will be hosted here to improve and build relationships between developers, distributors and manufacturers, according to Universal Robots.
Mark Gray, UK and Ireland Manager at Universal Robots, said: “Yorkshire has long been recognised for the pioneering role it played in the industrial revolution which made it the perfect location for our first UK hub.
“We’re excited to work even more closely with the AMRC, as well as the university R&D departments of Sheffield, York and Leeds. In the face of a growing manufacturing talent shortage in the UK, we hope that greater automation will make the industry more attractive for both future and lapsed workers.
“…In the UK we have the lowest productivity in the G7. Robotics are a solution here. It’s no coincidence that some of the countries with the highest rates of productivity have adopted robotics and automation as part of their industrial strategy.”
The increased uptake of robotics and automation is expected to deliver a boost of £6.4bn in value to the UK economy by 2035, as outlined by the UK Department for Science, Innovation and Technology.
What’s more, Universal Robots intends to use this hub to contribute to the training of future UK workforce to help secure this economic benefit.
Dr James Law, senior innovation fellow, Sheffield Robotics, Department of Computer Science, and the AMRC Integrated Manufacturing Group, The University of Sheffield, added: “We work very closely with industry so it’s encouraging to see such a significant player in the world of robotics setting up a hub in Sheffield.
“Collaborative robots, or cobots, will transform the way we work. They will allow UK manufacturers to combine the unique perceptual and cognitive abilities of humans with the repeatability, precision, and lifting capabilities of robots.
“In this way, cobots can be used to augment the abilities of the human, removing them from dangerous, repetitive and strenuous activities. This new hub will help UK manufacturers to further unlock the potential value offered by robotics.”
The site will likewise build on the facilities and equipment already at the University of Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam University and the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC).