Universal Robotics, Inc. was founded as a holding company in 2001. The core intellectual property (IP) was invented by Dr. Alan Peters, a professor at Vanderbilt University, in collaboration with NASA and the Department of Defense DARPA program. Alan’s brother, David, a motion picture producer in Hollywood, was experienced in the monetization of IP and starting new ventures. He recognized the market potential in the invention. Over six years Alan built and vetted his idea on NASA’s humanoid robot, Robonaut. With a fundable demonstration in hand, David quickly raised and closed a round of financing in 2007, launching the company in Nashville, TN in early 2008.
The core software technology is designed to function as a “brain” for actuated machines. Universal spent the first four years as a Skunk Works developing a software platform capable of handling the range of behaviors the system would require to mimic the actions of semi-skilled manual labor on supply chains. This effort secured company ownership of the platform IP.
In 2010 Universal began to sell applications to early adopters, affording the company the opportunity to test their work under the pressure of real world applications. Over time, the platform has reached excellent reliability metrics.
Beginning in 2013 the company built a system integration division within the company to begin providing full turnkey solutions directly to end users. This team runs concurrent with the software development team, providing additional services for the customers.
Today the company is experiencing exponential growth, as the adoption of sensor-based artificial intelligence systems becomes more widely accepted in supply chain solutions.