ABB Set to Acquire ASTI Mobile Robotics

August 08, 2021 by Stephanie Leonida

ABB plans to acquire ASTI Mobile Robotics Group to provide a complete autonomous mobile robot portfolio to its customers and expand sales globally.

Swedish-Swiss multinational corporation, ABB Ltd, is a world-leading developer and supplier of electronics and automation technologies and solutions. Recently, the company announced that it will acquire international robotics company, ASTI Mobile Robotics SA (ASTI)



Sami Atiya, President of ABB’s Robotics & Discrete Automation business, met with Veronica Pascual Boé, ASTI CEO. Image used courtesy of ABB


ASTI manufactures automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and autonomous mobile robots (AMRs). The acquisition was signed on July 19 and is expected to close in mid-summer 2021. The deal between ABB and ASTI expects to provide ABB with a full automation portfolio of AMRs and provide ASTI with global access to ABB’s market and customers. 


A Common Automated Vision

ASTI and ABB wish to transform the way manufacturing production lines operate by providing mobile robots that can conduct tasks automatically and dynamically to boost productivity. According to a report by Grand View Research, the global market for AMRs was valued at 1.9 billion USD in 2019 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.6% from 2020 to 2027. 

With both ASTI and ABB’s strong domain expertise spanning several industries, the decision to combine forces and build upon ABB’s existing robotics and automation offerings will provide greater choice and range to their existing customers. According to ABB, the company is set to become the only company to provide a complete portfolio of the next generation of flexible automation. 

The companies wish to provide customers with access to an AMR portfolio, enabling a more efficient workspace with mobile robot workers. Life Science laboratories, factories, logistics centers, shops, or hospitals could benefit from the flexibility of using AMRs to help move parts and finished products, which can help make a workplace more efficient and boost productivity.


ABB and ASTI working together. Image used courtesy of ASTI


ASTI’s AMR portfolio includes autonomous towing vehicles, goods-to-person solutions, unit carriers, and box movers. It also comes with a comprehensive software package that includes vehicle navigation and control, fleet and order management, and cloud-based traceability systems.


What is to Come?

Before ABB’s announcement concerning acquiring ASTI, the former company also announced its plans to expand robotics automation for new sectors and first-time users. ABB also announced the launch of its GoFa and SWIFTI collaborative robot families. Going forward, ABB will also be cultivating automation within the construction industry. 

ABB plans to set up its AMR business headquarters in Burgos, Spain, where ASTI’s headquarters is also situated. It intends to expand production at this new headquarters to ready the expansion of its sales in Europe and the Americas. The company also plans to set up an AMR hub in Asia to grow its business in the East. ABB’s new robotics factory is set to open in Shanghai in 2022 with a full value chain and manufacturing.