South Korea’s Hanwha Group has entered the rapidly growing robotics sector with the official launch of Hanwha Robotics Co., which aims to develop collaborative and service robots.
The robotics market is seen as a pivotal industry for the future, and Hanwha is the seventh-largest conglomerate in South Korea. The new company will leverage its robotics and autonomous mobility technologies to create robots for various applications.
Leading this venture is Kim Dong-seon, the third and youngest son of Hanwha Group Chairman Kim Seung-yeon. Kim is the executive director for future strategy at Hanwha Hotels & Resorts Co. His role will be crucial in shaping the strategic direction of Hanwha Robotics.
Hanwha Group disclosed on October 4th that Hanwha Robotics’ establishment is geared towards an amplified cobot business. Hanwha Robotics was formed by separating key businesses such as collaborative robots (cobots), automated guided vehicles (AGVs), and autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) from Hanwha Corporation/Momentum’s Factory Automation (FA) Division.
The company’s ownership structure is divided, with Hanwha Group holding a majority share of 68 percent, while the remaining 32 percent is owned by Hanwha Hotels & Resorts.
The move has helped Hanwha Group to broaden its robotics portfolio, extending beyond its industrial collaborative robots into developing applications for customer service-oriented robotics.
Hanwha Robotics came into existence in a short period, taking shape in under two months. This swift development followed Hanwha Corp.’s announcement to split its collaborative robot and factory automation (FA) operations. These divisions were part of Hanwha/Momentum’s total engineering solution division, and this separation resulted in the birth of Hanwha Robotics.
This expansion into cooperative robots, often called cobots, has gained popularity in various sectors, particularly in manufacturing, due to their ability to work alongside humans autonomously, enhancing efficiency and ergonomic conditions in workplaces.
Following the demerger, Hanwha/Momentum will pivot its strategic focus towards core ventures encompassing rechargeable batteries, renewable energy, and displays.
The company has placed a bet on robotics technology, driven by its anticipation of the rapid ascent of the global robot market. This direction is expected to be propelled by surging demand for artificial intelligence and Internet of Things-enabled smart factories and the increased adoption of contactless services brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Seo Jong-hwi, previously the Executive Director at Hanwha Corp./Momentum and now the CEO of Hanwha Robotics, stated, “Our emphasis will be on the worldwide collaborative robot sector, leveraging our reputation for exceptional quality and the trust we’ve garnered through meticulous machine design and automation technology.”
He added, “Our ongoing investment will remain in the development of core software technology that enhances the value proposition of our robotics business.”
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