When Rethink Robotics founder Rodney Brooks was producing the Roomba vacuum at iRobot in the 2000s, he saw first-hand how challenging and inefficient the manufacturing process could be, with so many manual processes involved. By the end of that decade, he founded Rethink Robotics with the intent of providing an entirely new type of automation to manufacturers – one that was safe to work next, easily trained by non-engineers, flexible enough to move quickly from job to job and affordable for companies of all sizes.
That vision was realized with the introduction of Baxter® in 2012 when Rethink Robotics ushered in the new age of collaborative robots. Before Baxter, people and robots did not work side by side. Manufacturing robots were kept behind cages, programmed by highly paid specialists and purchased for a single purpose. Rethink changed all of that. For the first time, manufacturers had a cost-effective and easily deployed solution and the market had a new category of automation: collaborative robots.
Rethink Robotics expanded that vision with the introduction of Sawyer™ in 2015, a smaller, faster robot designed for high precision tasks. Best of all, we continue to deliver with frequent releases to our Intera® software and the ClickSmart family of gripper kits. Our combination of hardware and software enables the easiest train-by-demonstration functionality in the industry and reduces the time it takes to deploy the robots.
In October 2018, HAHN Group acquired Rethink Robotics assets, thus strengthening its service offerings for collaborative robotics. In this step, Rethink Robotics met German Engineering and repositioned itself for the future. And we have ambitious plans: Using the extensive knowledge of HAHN Group, we intend to further develop Rethink Robotics’ technology, with the goal of combining this technology with German engineering and know-how of industrial applications. As a business unit of HAHN Group, Rethink Robotics will thereby be able to provide customers with high-quality collaborative robotic solutions and reliable service offerings. In addition, Rethink Robotics intends to make the software platform available to suitable partners through licensing or other arrangements.
With more than thirty years of experience and hundreds of successfully implemented collaborative as well as conventional robotic solutions – encompassing consulting, development and certification services – HAHN Group has positioned itself as one of the leaders in the fields of industrial automatization and robotics. In addition to its integration business (operated by HAHN Robotics) and renting offerings (operated by HAHN RobShare), the business unit Rethink Robotics will become the third pillar of the HAHN Group’s robotic division and complete its service portfolio.
Our mission remains the same: We want to help manufacturers around the world automate more than ever before. We have been here to Rethink Robotics and we want to help you rethink what’s possible on your factory floor – taking everything a step further into the future of automation.