Samsung Electronics recently announced it had purchased a significant stake in Korean robotics company Rainbow Robotics for 59 billion won ($47 million). Samsung purchased 1.94 million shares of Rainbow Robotics becoming its second largest shareholder with a 10.3% stake.
Although the Samsung CEO declined to put too much emphasis on the recent investment, industry pundits are paying keen attention, as it is seen as a crucial step for Samsung entering into the industrial robotics market. Industry insiders noted that Samsung Electronics’ latest investment is part of a move to establish smart factories with the Rainbow Robotics RB Cobot series.
“We took over stakes of Rainbow Robotics. There’s nothing more than that,” Samsung’s co-CEO Han Jong-hee said during a press conference at the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. “It is true that robotics is one of our future growth drivers.
Rainbow Robotics was founded by researchers from the Humanoid Robot Research Center (HUBO Lab) at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology. Rainbow Robotics recently launched its RBQ-3 quadruped robot.
“Using its advanced technology, Rainbow Robotics is likely to produce robots specifically designed for Samsung – from service robots and four- or two-legged humanoids to home robots,” said Yang Seung-yoon, an analyst at Eugene Securities.
The Samsung robot investment comes after Hyundai Motor Group acquired Boston Dynamics, in a deal that valued the mobile robot company at US$1.1 billion, which is known for its four-legged robot dog ‘Spot’ in its big push for robotics business.
“It may be too early to say, but Samsung-Rainbow Robotics could compete head-on with Hyundai Motor Group-Boston Dynamics. Their rivalry could help expand the industry and spur innovation,” commented Yang Seung-yoon, analyst at Eugene Securities. “Rainbow Robotics plans to expand its lineup in cooperative robot area to 9 products by 2025. Demand for cooperative robots will grow in various industries such as electronics and distribution” added Yang Seung-yoon.
Rainbow Robotics showcased its RB-series cobots in Detroit at Automate 2022 in Detroit. Starting this year, the company plans to make a foray into the US and Europe. Teaming up with Samsung is expected to offer a boon for Rainbow Robotics as it seeks to expand its presence in overseas markets.
For more information: www.rainbow-robotics.com