Vecna Acquires VGo: Logistics Marries Telepresence

Robotics Business Review
Move adds new dimension to Vecna’s hospital logistics while bolstering warehousing capabilities
By Tom Green

Vecna Technologies, the Cambridge, MA-based developer of logistics robotics and IT healthcare solutions, today formalized what had been an ongoing 10-year relationship with Nashua, NH-based VGo Communications, developer of mobile telepresence robots.

With the acquisition, VGo staff will relocate to Vecna’s Cambridge headquarters.

Does that mean Vecna’s QC Bot hospital delivery robot, for instance, will now gain visual and communication’s capabilities that will enhance interaction between hospital staff directly from the delivery robot itself?

“Yes,” answered Dan Theobald, Vecna’s co-founder and CEO, during a phone conference this morning.

Those are capabilities that Vecna’s competition in the hospital logistics space like Swisslog, Aethon and Panasonic do not have, at least not yet.

And could that also mean that somewhere in the near future,  a QC Bot equipped with telepresence, and maybe a Barrett arm (Vecna is a distributor), might find its way into warehouses and distribution centers to pick and pack goods?

“Yes,” replied Dan, this time with a little bit of a chuckle.  “That’s going to figure into our strategic plan.”

From the press release later in the day:

“Vecna and VGo’s missions are highly aligned.  We believe robots can enhance the quality of life for people everywhere,” said Dan.  “VGo brings a great product and a large satisfied customer base, which is complementary to Vecna’s existing product installations in over 500 sites worldwide.

“Customers from both companies will benefit from adding VGo to Vecna’s industry-leading portfolio of solutions with applications in healthcare, hospitality, manufacturing, distribution, and education.

“Vecna and VGo have been partners for years and with this acquisition are positioned to have a major impact in the market.”

VGo’s President and CEO Peter Vicars said, “Like Vecna, VGo’s mission has been to empower people through robotics.

“We connect people across great distances, just as if they were there.  VGo is extremely pleased about the expansion of the product line and the tremendous opportunities that the merged company is poised to capture.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.