Rockwell Automation announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Ontario, Canada-based Clearpath Robotics, an autonomous robotics supplier for industrial applications. Autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) are being increasingly applied as part of manufacturing companies industrial automation and digital transformation initiatives.
Transporting parts and materials to assembly lines and between manufacturing cells is one of the industry’s more complex and inefficient tasks, often resulting in production bottlenecks. Autonomous production logistics can help improve the workflow throughout a manufacturing plant, which can enable reductions in costs and greater operational efficiencies. Clearpath’s OTTO Motors Division offers AMRs and fleet management and navigation software, which helps to increase throughput and reduce costs by ensuring components and subassemblies are in place when needed and by transporting finished goods to a truck or warehouse upon completion.
Combined with Rockwell Automation’s continuing partnerships in fixed robotic arms, solutions such as Independent Cart Technology, and its extensive installed base of programmable logic controllers (PLCs), the addition of OTTO Motors’ AMR capabilities will create an even broader portfolio of advanced material handling solutions.
Data from Rockwell Automation’s offerings and OTTO Motors’ AMRs will be harnessed in artificial intelligence-powered Software as a Service information management applications, such as those by Rockwell Automation’s Plex and Fiix businesses. With this, Rockwell Automation will deliver a more unified solution for manufacturing, enabling autonomous execution and optimization to help increase efficiency and allow for traceability and real-time adjustments.
Founded in 2009, Clearpath got its start offering robotics technology to global research and development markets, and in 2015, launched its OTTO Motors Division.
The acquisition will be funded by a portion of the proceeds from the sale of Rockwell Automation’s investment in PTC. It is subject to customary regulatory approval and is expected to close in the first quarter of Rockwell Automation’s fiscal year 2024. At close, Clearpath will report to Rockwell Automation’s Intelligent Devices operating segment.