6 feb 2024 • 5 min read
Boston, MA – February 5, 2024 – For the second year, United Robotics Group Inc. will present its lab automation CobiotX solutions at the S.L.A.S. International Conference and Exhibition in Boston from February 3-7, 2024. The American affiliate of the German-based service robotics company will showcase its growing portfolio to support lab processing and research environments as well as their service cobiot, Plato.
In the last year, the company has tripled in size in the United States, with a total of 21 engineers and representatives focused on presenting and expanding their CobiotX presence in the lab and life sciences sector.
“After a year of establishing our presence on the U.S. market, we are proud to come to S.L.A.S with our growing fleet of lab robots and present the newest version of KEVIN ® alongside the global life sciences community,” said Grant Phillips, CEO of United Robotics Group Inc. “The life sciences and lab environments are more than ever operating on tight flows and responding to growing demands on shortened staff. Our ambition is to support this vital sector of our health system and continue to propose innovative and relevant solutions like KEVIN ® and uMobileLab that are easy to integrate and provide measurable value.”
With more than 85% of lab professionals in the United States reporting burnout in 2020, the need for greater solutions to support current teams and encourage young talent to enter the space is vital. United Robotics Group Inc.’s CobiotX solutions – KEVIN® and uMobileLab, respond to the challenges present in both clinical and medical and R&D lab environments including inconsistent workflows, distance, need for speed and accuracy, repetitiveness and wide range of testing and tasks to cover.
In October 2023, United Robotics Group signed a strategic partnership with Fraunhofer Institute to license, manufacture at scale and distribute the KEVIN ® robot for lab settings. KEVIN® was developed by the Department of Laboratory Automation and Bioproduction Technology at Fraunhofer IPA and brought to prototype stage with first test customers worldwide. Under the umbrella of URG, KEVIN® will now go into series production. KEVIN supports lab staff and operations with a software agnostic plug & play solution that bridges automation gaps. The robot enhances procedural efficiency and operational times, while freeing staff from loading automation devices and delivery of materials and equipment, , even capable of opening doors and taking elevators independently.
“By expanding our partnership with Fraunhofer Institute, we are not only accelerating the commercialization of KEVIN ®, but also affirming the proof of concept of our company, that brings together hardware and software companies to develop new service robotics solutions. In less than one year, a new mobile base developed by Robotnik Automation has been integrated into KEVIN’s structure, giving it greater agility and flexibility within the lab space,” explains Thomas Linkenheil, co-Founder of United Robotics Group.
KEVIN® is an autonomous, mobile laboratory robot capable of automating processes, connecting to automation devices and bridging automation island and can be flexibly and intuitively integrated into laboratory infrastructures. The robot takes over repetitive routine tasks such as the transportation of microtitre plates and racks in SBS format, such as samples or consumables for refilling. Like United Robotics Group’s other Cobiots and CobiotX solutions, KEVIN® is designed with the end user in mind, making the integration of the robot into the workspace and its programming to respond to changing needs easy.
KEVIN ® is a software agnostic device, facilitating its integration into third-party process management software and can communicate with most table-top automation devices and it is designed specifically for the SBS format.
uMobileLAB, launched last year at VivaTech in France is a multipurpose solution designed to enhance patient care and staff satisfaction by improving efficiency, reducing workload, and freeing up highly qualified laboratory staff for high value tasks while ensuring more precise results and faster turnaround times. uMobileLAB automates a huge range of laboratory operations such as routing specimens to multiple analyzers, racking specimens around the clock as well as loading, unloading and operation of analyzers and other lab peripherals. uMobileLAB reduces walking distances up to 70 percent, relieves lab talents during the peak hours and significantly eases staffing requirements for weekend and night shifts.
uMobileLAB’s AI-powered system allows it to perform various tasks in the in-vitro diagnostics environment, such as handling, de-capping and pipetting, centrifuging, monitoring, delivering materials and navigating elevators and doors with ease. In an initial phase, uMobileLAB is compatible with lab functions in more than 850,000 hospitals.
The robot is also capable of being programmed with other robots, including Plato, used in both hospitality and healthcare settings. The robots can be programmed to interact in deliveries or carrying of supplies. Plato will also be present on the United Robotics Group Inc. booth (1009).
CobiotX robotic solutions not only introduce a new era of robotics, but altogether bring an innovative approach to the market, encompassing the principle that the human-robot relationship should focus on the human. CobiotX is “Robots for humans.”
“The first generation of robots, classic, large industrial robots, were programmed to work independently from humans. With the second generation, small, lightweight cobots, collaboration with humans was possible. With CobiotX, we are completely revolutionizing the way humans interact with robots, allowing humans to focus on highly valued human interaction while ensuring a safe environment,” said Thomas Hähn, Founder of United Robotics Group.
About United Robotics Group
United Robotics Group, founded by Thomas Hähn in 2020, unites nine service robotics companies into a unique ecosystem by bundling hardware and software expertise under one roof. Over 490 employees and 28 nationalities work at the company. Headquartered in Bochum, Germany, United Robotics Group brings together cutting-edge technology and robotic experts from both the social and industrial world. United Robotics Group shares the common ambition to empower humanity with technology, and lighten processes for humans, helping them focus on human interactions in a safe and secure environment.
As the CobiotX company who created this third generation of robotics – robots for humans, the United Robotics Group is committed to developing standardized and customized solutions to meet social and business challenges in the life science, health and care, hospitality, education, intralogistics, maintenance and surveillance sectors with quality, data protection and sustainability as key driving forces. All planning humans in the center of all.
RSBG SE, the investment entity of RAG-Stiftung, focused on technology and engineering driven companies is majority shareholder of United Robotics Group. SoftBank Robotics Group is minority shareholder of United Robotics Group.
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