United Robotics Group acquires mobile robot developer Robotnik

United Robotics Group (URG) has acquired a majority stake in Robotnik Automation, a Valencia, Spain-based provider of technologies in mobile service robotics. Financial details of the acquisition weren’t disclosed.

Robotnik has a 20-year track record in developing mobile robots and mobile manipulators. The company has a presence in markets such as Korea, Japan, China, Singapore, the USA, France, Germany and Italy. URG said the acquisition advances its strategy of asserting its position in the European robotics market through organic growth and acquisitions.

“We have been working with Robotnik as our strategic partner, and I am delighted to see the company join our group. We will benefit from 70 highly experienced robotics experts, especially in the areas of R&D and Software. This investment will support us in the development of further applications for CobiotX, the third generation of robots for humans”, said Thomas Linkenheil, co-CEO of United Robotics Group. ”We look forward to working with the local management team around Roberto Guzmán and Rafael López who are leading the company since the very beginning. We are very confident to leverage synergies.”

Founded by Thomas Hähn in 2019, Bochum, Germany-based United Robotics Group was founded in 2019 by Thomas Hahn. The company’s mission is to unite service robotics companies into a unique ecosystem by bundling hardware and software expertise under one roof.

This video showcases some of Robotnik’s work in autonomous mobile robots.

In April 2022, United Robotics Group acquired Softbank Robotics Europe, which develops the Pepper and Nao robots. That business then reverted back to its original name, Aldebaran, which was used prior to being acquired by Softbank. At the time of the deal, SoftBank also acquired a minority stake in United Robotics Group.

United has been the master distributor of Nao and Pepper in Europe since October 2021, responsible for sales, service and maintenance. It also distributes the Plato delivery robot and the Sawyer collaborative robot arm. United is backed by Hahn, a major industrial automation player in Germany. Hahn acquired the IP for Rethink Robotics after the company shut down in 2018. Hahn has since relaunched Sawyer.

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“With [its] leading mobile manipulator technology and expertise with arm integration and its modular software, Robotnik is a perfect partner for United Robotics Group,” said Nadja Schmiedl, CTO, United Robotics Group. “We will benefit from Robotnik’s access to the international research networks as well as their products to strengthen our vertical Inspection & Maintenance and explore mobility applications in new CobiotX projects.”

“We are very pleased to integrate in the United Robotics Group and be part of its expansion in the global market,” said Roberto Guzmán, CEO, Robotnik. “We will focus on our strength in developing leading-edge technology and contributing to URG’s success with our network and experience in R&D projects.”

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Written by

Mike Oitzman

Mike Oitzman is Senior Editor of WTWH's Robotics Group, cohost of The Robot Report Podcast, and founder of the Mobile Robot Guide. Oitzman is a robotics industry veteran with 25-plus years of experience at various high-tech companies in the roles of marketing, sales and product management. He can be reached at moitzman@wtwhmedia.com.