OnRobot has opened its first location specifically dedicated to research and development (R&D) in the United States. Based in Culver City in Los Angeles, California, the new office area boasts 6,000ft2 for engineers, researchers, and local staff to work and develop new products. Last year marked OnRobot’s first foray into the LA area, as it acquired Perception Robotics. With this acquisition, OnRobot brought the Gecko Gripper technology into its product offerings and developed it for commercial launch. The tactile Gecko Gripper uses millions of micro-scaled fibrillar stalks that adhere to a surface the same way that lizards climb. Originally created to help NASA salvage and repair satellites, the Gecko Gripper’s unique ability to pick up porous and delicate objects has already gained significant traction with OnRobot’s industrial automation customers.
With limited square footage in the original Perception Robotics space, there wasn’t enough room for OnRobot to focus on its two important tasks: production and assembly, along with continuing its R&D efforts to spawn new ideas for future product development.
“As OnRobot continues its aggressive expansion throughout North America, moving to a larger location in Culver City offers multiple benefits,” says Enrico Krog Iversen, CEO of OnRobot. “It has space for our current staff of 17, with plenty of room for the research team to use multiple types of collaborative robot arms in our quest to develop new tools for these. It’s also directly across the street from a multi-million-dollar entertainment industry hub that is currently being built, called Ivy Station. The new building will be home to HBO, Apple, and Amazon, bringing to Culver City a more qualified pool of candidates for us to choose from when we look at increasing our staff next year. We’re excited to be here and are looking forward to all the great things we’re going to accomplish in this region.”
Explosive industry growth
The collaborative robot market is now the fastest growing segment of industrial automation, expected to jump ten-fold to 34% of all industrial robot sales by 2025 according to the International Federation of Robotics. Collaborative robots, or simply cobots, are robots that unlike traditional industrial robots do not need to be bolted down in safety cages but can work safely alongside humans on ever-changing tasks. With the U.S. facing record low unemployment rates, companies are now turning to cobots to help them automate tedious, repetitive tasks that they can no longer staff. OnRobot plays a pivotal role in this growth by providing cobots with end-of-arm-tooling such as grippers, tool changers, and force/torque sensors, that are used with cobots and light industrial robots from a variety of robot manufacturers. OnRobot works with all major cobot brands at the new Culver City office, with plans to add more as the California location grows.