22 Jul 2024


UR owner Teledyne buys another Danish robot firm in €222m deal

Teradyne, the American owner of the Danish collaborative robots pioneer, Universal Robots, has added another Danish robot-maker to its portfolio by buying Mobile Industrial Robots (MiR), which develops and manufactures collaborative autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) for industrial applications. Teradyne is paying €121m ($148m) in cash for the business, with an additional €101m ($124m) if MiR meets certain performance targets in the period to 2020.

The AMR market is part of the $1.1bn logistics systems services robot market, which is expected to grow rapidly in the years ahead. MiR claims to be the global AMR market-leader.

Last year, the company tripled its revenues to $12m, and more than doubled its staff from 27 to 60. It is planning to add another 50 this year, and to double the size of its Odense headquarters. In the first quarter of 2018, MiR’s sales were worth $5m, and it is aiming for revenues of $32m for the whole of 2018.

“We are excited to have MiR join Teradyne’s widening portfolio of advanced, intelligent, automation products,” says Mark Jagiela, president and CEO of Teradyne. “MiR is the market leader in the nascent, but fast-growing market for collaborative AMRs.

“Like Universal Robots’ collaborative robots, MiR collaborative AMRs lower the barrier for both large and small enterprises to incrementally automate their operations without the need for specialty staff or a re-layout of their existing workflow,” Jagiela adds. “This, combined with a fast return on investment, opens a vast new automation market. Following the path proven with Universal Robots, we expect to leverage Teradyne’s global capabilities to expand MiR’s reach.”

MiR’s AMRs manage internal logistics, freeing employees for higher-value activities. According to the company, they are already being used by “hundreds” of manufacturers of various sizes around the world, including Honeywell, Kamstrup and Airbus. MiR has grown quickly since its founding in 2013, with sales increasing fivefold from 2015 to 2016. A quarter of its sales are in the US, 20% in Germany and 15% in China.

According to MiR CEO, Thomas Visti, the rapid growth in 2017 was due mainly to multinational companies ordering large fleets of mobile robots after testing and analysing the results of using a single MiR robot. Another factor was MiR’s launch in 2017 of a robot that can lift 200kg and pull 500kg.

“Joining Teradyne allows us to advance our engineering and development investments to provide greater value to our customers and further expand our market leadership in industrial autonomous mobile robots,” says Visti. “Teradyne’s worldwide reach, world-class engineering and support capabilities, financial strength and proven model for leveraging those strengths, will help us grow in new and existing markets worldwide.

“While the market for mobile robots is still at an early stage,” Visti adds, “it is expected to explode in the next one to two years as more companies discover the possibilities of using mobile robots to automate internal transport. MiR is fully ready to seize the opportunities and hold its market-leading position.”