Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Sony Group Agree to Establishment of a New Company to Operate Remote Robot Platform Businesses
May 21, 2021
Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “Kawasaki”) and Sony Group Corporation (hereinafter referred to as “Sony”) announced today the conclusion of an agreement for the establishment of a new company to operate the remote robot platform businesses (hereinafter referred to as “the new company”) as a joint venture in summer 2021*.
The “Group Vision 2030” enacted by Kawasaki designates a “safe and secure remotely-connected society” as one of the fields to be focused on in the future to address social issues. Within this field, Kawasaki aims to achieve a society in which anyone can work with complete safety and security by applying the technologies in robotics and land, sea and air mobility which it has developed over many years, while also offering solutions in the areas of “medical and healthcare,” such as surgical support robots, “disaster response” to protect human life and property, and “new ways of living and working” through the utilization of remote operations.
In addition, Sony is developing a diverse range of businesses centered on “people,” based on its Purpose, to “fill the world with emotion, through the power of creativity and technology,” and its management direction of “getting closer to people.” It is promoting “3R Technologies” which pursue the concepts of “Reality,” “Real-time,” and “Remote,” and strives to create new value by providing people with the excitement and emotion of entertainment, as well as the security and safety necessary to support that value creation through its specialties of image processing, sensing, and communication technologies.
The new company will bring together the technological capabilities of the two companies to build remote robot platforms that can operate robots from remote locations, and will mainly provide robot software and solution services. For example, in dangerous environments and at sites requiring strenuous work, it will make it possible to ensure the safety of workers and significantly reduce workloads. With the spread of COVID-19, our social environments and lifestyles are now changing greatly, and this new company will support new ways of working that are not limited by place or time.
Recently, a decrease in the labor force due to factors such as decreasing birthrates and aging populations has become a social issue, particularly in developed countries. In response to such issues, remote robot platforms will aim to create work opportunities by enabling people who had been located away from work sites for various reasons to work remotely from their homes or other locations. In addition, these platforms will connect people with a desire to work with companies who wish to hire them, and will contribute to creating new communities and promoting employment.
Verification tests are planned to be conducted in specific industrial fields such as the manufacturing and processing industry, with services scheduled for launch in 2022.
Through this new company, Kawasaki and Sony will provide services focused on communities that can connect robots, workers, and business operators remotely, and will realize new ways of working in the society of the future.
Overview of the New Company (Tentative)
|Location||1-7-1 Konan, Minato-ku, Tokyo|
|Capital||100 million yen|
|Investment Ratio||Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd.: 50%, Sony Group Corporation: 50%|
|Board Members||President & Representative Director||Hirokazu Tanaka (Sony)|
|Vice President & Representative Director||Shogo Hasegawa (Kawasaki)|
|Non-executive Director||Takeshi Kaneko (Kawasaki)|
|Non-executive Director||Masatoshi Ishida (Kawasaki)|
|Non-executive Director||Toshimoto Mitomo (Sony)|
|Non-executive Director||Shugo Yamaguchi (Sony)|
*The establishment of the new company and commencement of its business operations will be subject to the acquisition of approval and authorization by the relevant authorities.