The robot producer Mobile Industrial Robots, based in Odense, Denmark, has been purchased by Teradyne from the USA, for a price of 1.7 billion DKK, or over £200 million. This is good news not only for MiR, but also for Denmark and for the development of robots in general.
This is not the first time that Teradyne has purchased a robotics company in Odense. In 2015, Teradyne purchased Universal Robots, known for its collaborative robotic arm – or cobot – for 1.9 billion DKK plus performance bonuses. This history has shown us that a Teradyne purchase boosts innovation, growth, exports, and job creation in the purchased company.
When huge exit payments land in the pockets of key persons and actors in the Danish robotics hub, a ripple effect is created. During the relatively short period of robotic development in Odense, the common thread has been increased investments in existing companies and reinvesting in new companies, which continues to strengthen the robotics hub here (see the infographic below for more).
Currently in Denmark, there are three times as many robots in the workplace, compared to the global average. For every 10,000 workers in Denmark, there are 211 robots. The global average is 74 robots per 10,000 workers, according to the International Federation of Robotics.
Embracement of robot technology in Denmark is largely due to the practical Danish design of robots for use in a typical Danish workplace.
The Danish health care sector also incorporates Danish-developed robot technology to a larger extent.
Another factor that has been beneficial to the development of robots in Denmark stems from a start-of-the-century political agenda: reshoring. “Reshoring” is the taking back of production jobs from low-wage countries, so that these jobs return to companies in the Western world.
The flexible cobot plays the starring role in reshoring, because its technology unleashes competitiveness in Danish production.
Here is the timeline of some of the essential key events in the creation of a successful robotics cluster in Denmark.