Vanderlande invests in collaborative robot specialist Smart Robotics

Cobot solutions used in order picking and placing, palletizing and depalletizing, and kitting and bagging alongside human operators.

By ·

Vanderlande has announced that it will obtain a minority shareholder interest in the robotics development company Smart Robotics, which is based in Best near Eindhoven, The Netherlands.

The investment will create a focus on robotic technology development for logistic purposes, through a joint research and development (R&D) multi-year program, and commitment through co-ownership.

Founded in 2015 as a spin-off of the Eindhoven University of Technology, Smart Robotics develops, sells and rents modular collaborative robots (or ‘cobots’) that can be configured for specific tasks. Its solutions are utilized for a variety of processes such as order picking and placing, (de)palletising, and kitting and bagging where human operators are involved.

The company’s software platform is central to its solutions and allows for the integration of technology such as vision sensors, artificial intelligence and grippers. For two-and-a-half years, Smart Robotics received support and venture capital from the Brabant Development Agency (BOM).

“BOM’s vision on robotics is strongly aligned with ours, and the collaboration was a perfect strategic fit in the startup phase,” says Smart Robotics’ managing director Mark Menting. “BOM helped us to develop and become the successful and profitable organisation we are today. Now, Vanderlande has taken up the baton to help scale up Smart Robotics internationally. They have the product-market combination that we need to reach our new goals.”

The partnership between Vanderlande and Smart Robotics will see the creation of a mutually beneficial roadmap through a joint R&D program. A key development area will be item picking capabilities so as to further strengthen e-commerce warehousing solutions.

With this investment, both organisations are expected to benefit from an increased focus, accelerated time to market, and a solid platform for the development and commercialisation of joint solutions. Vanderlande will continue to provide R&D capabilities and funding – as well as outsource a number of projects – to Smart Robotics.

“We’re delighted that we have the opportunity to work more closely with such a dynamic and innovative organisation,” says Vanderlande’s technology manager Fred Verstraaten. “This is a highly attractive growth market to be involved in at the current time and we see a strong strategic and cultural fit between our companies. However, for both parties, it will remain business as usual. The investment will accelerate developments and sharpen our focus in this progressive field.”

Subscribe to Modern Materials Handling Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Find out what the world’s most innovative companies are doing to improve productivity in their plants and distribution centers.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Latest Whitepaper
Solving the Labor Shortage Crisis: The Four Benefits of an Automated Warehouse
Not enough warehouse staff? Finding it difficult to keep up with orders during peak periods?
Download Today!
From the March 2018 Modern Materials Handling Issue
Here’s how one of the world’s largest 3PLs is looking to tomorrow’s innovative technologies, including heads-up display and robotics, to transform its operations today.
Conveyors & sortation: Carrying the e-commerce burden
2018 Productivity Achievement Awards
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Emerging Technologies for Your Distribution Center
Come get an insider's view of the latest technologies for inside your Distribution Center. You'll learn which technologies are being piloted, which are having success and moving from concept to implementation and into production on the maturity scale, and what's coming on the horizon.
Register Today!
NextGen Supply Chain at DHL
Here’s how one of the world’s largest 3PLs is looking to tomorrow’s innovative technologies,...
Trinchero Family Estates: Pallet handling in the vineyard
The second-largest family-owned wine company in the world turns to automated pallet handling and...

System Report: Rocky Brands Sees the Light
Confronting an aging materials handling system and new channels of business with new customer...
Lodge Manufacturing: Distribution Cast in Iron
In a new facility, iPhones and a new WMS allowed cookware manufacturer Lodge to double its business...