Robot will ring NYSE closing bell

After the demise of Rethink Robotics, market leader Universal Robots reassures investors that the robot revolution is alive and well.

A robot will ring the closing bell at the NYSE on Wednesday. The honored machine is a UR5e collaborative robot made by Universal Robots (UR), which is the market leader in the growing category of flexible, collaborative industrial automation.

The bell ring comes just a couple weeks after the unexpected demise of UR rival and market innovator Rethink Robotics. Despite rumblings that Rethink's closure may portend a bumpy road ahead for the surging industrial automation sector, the post mortem on the news is that Rethink put too many eggs in too few baskets by focusing on a couple flagship models, namely the robots Baxter and Sawyer.

Cobots, which can operate safely outside cages and alongside humans on factory floors and industrial lines, are expected to account for a full 34 percent of all industrial robot sales by 2025, according to the International Federation of Robotics. Universal Robots has jumped out to a commanding lead and controls 60 percent of the global cobot market. That lead looks secure for the near future with smart alliances with companies that make compatible hardware, including grippers and other industrial automation end effectors for specialized tasks.

This bell ringing Wednesday specifically honors the five-year anniversary of the first robotics and industrial automation index, ROBO Global.

"We have long admired UR as a pioneer and global leader in the collaborative robotics market," said Travis Briggs, CEO of ROBO Global U.S. "Since acquiring UR in 2015, Teradyne has been a key growth driver in the ROBO Global Index. We are thrilled that Teradyne has generously agreed to join the ROBO Global team for this one-of-a-kind NYSE bell ringing."