The ringing of the closing bell today at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) was performed by a UR5e cobot from Universal Robots (UR). The UR5e, equipped with a Robotiq gripper, became the first cobot to ring the NYSE closing bell. The ceremony was part of a day-long celebration to commemorate the five-year anniversary of ROBO Global, the first-ever robotics, automation and AI index.
Other robots have been involved in opening and closing bell ceremonies. On Feb. 6, 2018, Bina48, a robot developed by Hanson Robotics, was on stage during the ringing of the NYSE opening bell. And on November 12, 2013, a UR5 with a 3-fingered SCHUNK gripper rang the NASDAQ closing bell. And way back on November 9, 2005, the iRobot PackBot became the first robot to open The NASDAQ Stock Market – while the Roomba was outside cleaning the sidewalks of Time Square.
ROBO Global, which launched in October 2013, invests in more than 80 companies across the globe, spanning 12 subsectors from manufacturing to healthcare to robotics and sensing. Teradyne, which acquired UR in 2015 for $285 million, is one of the companies on the ROBO Global index.
“With this event, we celebrate not just the success of robotics in empowering customers and investors, but also the successes of our customers in innovating and changing their workplace with cobots,” says Stuart Shepherd, Regional Sales Director of UR’s Americas Division. “The bell ringing reflects our continued commitment towards making cobots an easy-to-integrate piece of a company’s operations platform.”
Collaborative robotics, if not the fastest, is one of the fastest-growing segments of industrial automation. According to the International Federation of Robotics (IFR), the market is expected to grow ten-fold to 34 percent of all industrial robot sales by 2025.
The ceremony also showed an interesting contrast of the cobot market. Less than two weeks ago, Rethink Robotics shut its doors after failing to generate enough sales. Rethink was founded in 2008, three years after UR, but was unable to deliver cobots that were precise enough to perform as needed in industrial environments. UR has not had that problem, of course, as it dominates the market. It recently sold its 25,000th cobot worldwide and claims to have a 60 percent global share of the cobot space.
“We have long admired UR as a pioneer and global leader in the collaborative robotics market,” said Travis Briggs, CEO of ROBO Global U.S. “Since acquiring UR in 2015, Teradyne has been a key growth driver in the ROBO Global Index.”
UR unveiled its e-Series cobots at Automatica 2018. The company says the UR3e, UR5e, and UR10e offer more precision and sensitivity, enabling a wider range of applications, faster set up times and new safety features.