After the surprise insolvency of US American cobot pioneer Rethink Robotics, the German robotics specialist Hahn Group has acquired the robot technology from Boston. Among other things, Hahn acquired all patents and naming rights as well as the software platform Intera5 for intuitive programming of Sawyer robots. The older Rethink model Baxter is not part of the transaction.
In a completely unexpected move, Rethink ceased business in early October due to insolvency. According to media reports, the company was short of cash because the robot sales did not meet the expectations. Some observers also blame Rethink's lack of application and industry proximity for the failure. Rethink was founded in 2008 by MIT Professor Rodney Brooks, who also co-founded the vacuum cleaner robot manufacturer iRobot.
In contrast, the new Sawyer owner Hahn can boast of substantial industrial and application expertise. After all, the Hahn Group has been an established player in industrial automation for 25 years. With its subsidiary Hahn Robotics, the Hahn Group was already active as German integrator of Sawyer. In addition, the subsidiary Hahn Robshare provides innovative co-robot leasing models (robots as a service) to reduce entry barriers and investment costs.
Hahn now wants to develop the Sawyer robot technology further and combine it with German engineering expertise and application experience. “Acquisition of robot technology from Rethink Robotics marks an important step for Hahn Group in expanding our collaborative robotics business,” Hahn Group CEO Thomas Hähn stated. “This transaction will provide us with a significant boost in innovative technology and highly specialized know-how in one of the fastest-growing key markets of the future. Consequently, we are very pleased that we were able to convince the owners of Rethink Robotics to sell their robotics around the Cobot Sawyer and Intera5 software to us.”