KT to acquire 10% stake in Hyundai Robotics from Hyundai Heavy Industries
South Korean telecommunications company KT has agreed to acquire a stake of 10% in Hyundai Robotics for KRW50 billion ($41 million) as part of a move to accelerate collaboration for digital transformation based on 5G, artificial intelligence (AI) and smart factory.
Hyundai Robotics was launched in May 2020 as a new subsidiary company of South Korea-based Hyundai Heavy Industries following the demerger of its robotics business department.
The newly launched company will move beyond manufacturing industrial and cleaning robots to the smart factory business, which includes fault prediction systems based on a robot monitoring system to bring down the client’s maintenance fees.
KT, apart from taking a stake in Hyundai Robotics, has also signed a business cooperation agreement with Hyundai Heavy Industries for joining forces on digital transformation. The parties will aim to speed up the joint development of intelligent service robots, technological research in autonomous driving, and also smart factory solutions.
Ku Hyeonmo – KT President said: “In the post-COVID 19 era, KT is prepared to contribute to strengthening the Republic of Korea’s industrial competitiveness and the transformation of our nation’s manufacturing industry, taking advantage of our 5G and AI capability in cooperation with Hyundai Heavy Industries Group.
“Beginning with Hyundai Heavy Industries Group, we will do our utmost to expand digital transformation in diverse areas.”
KT will carry out software development and applications associated with intelligent service robots and autonomous driving, while Hyundai Robotics will handle hardware development and manufacturing. This is likely to pave the way to the launch of intelligent robots that will provide hotel amenities apart from serving food and beverages at restaurants, and cleaning patrol robots, which will be loaded with cleaning and security functions.
To enter the service robot market, the two parties will also look to develop collaborative robots for small factories and large franchise stores.
The South Korean telecommunications company will deliver communication technology, cloud, ICT solutions, and related bundle products for a smart factory, while Hyundai Robotics will offer robots and relevant solutions.
Chung Kisun – Senior Executive Vice President of Hyundai Heavy Industries said: “Beyond mere production, the competitiveness of manufacturers will be determined in the future by the ability of individual businesses to read market trends and transform themselves.
“Through expansive business cooperation with KT, we believe that not only Hyundai Robotics but the entire Hyundai Heavy Industries Group will be able to achieve digital transformation and thereby improve our competitiveness as leading enterprises in the world.”