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Hyundai Heavy launches new robotics subsidiary

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By Jun Ji-hye

Hyundai Heavy Industries Group will spin-off its robotics business and establish a new subsidiary, Hyundai Robotics, aiming to increase sales from the promising business to 1 trillion won ($853 million) by the end of 2024, the group said Friday.

The mobile service robot UNI, co-developed by Hyundai Robotics and KT. / Courtesy of Hyundai Robotics
The mobile service robot UNI, co-developed by Hyundai Robotics and KT. / Courtesy of Hyundai Robotics
The decision was made at a board of directors meeting earlier in the day.

After its launch as a subsidiary, Hyundai Robotics will accelerate efforts to make inroads into overseas markets with industrial robots, and expand into new businesses including smart factories, smart logistics and mobile services robots.

Hyundai Robotics began in 1984 as a business team within Hyundai Heavy. It has since developed the nation's first industrial robots for the production of automobiles, among others.

"We will be able to gain a foothold to become a top-tier robotics company in the global market through the establishment of the independent corporation," Hyundai Robotics CEO Seo Yoo-seong said.

"We will boost our business competitiveness through enhanced research and development, and large-scale investments in plant and equipment. We will also consider attracting strategic investments."

Hyundai Robotics, in particular, is aiming to increase sales of smart factory and smart logistics systems, the firm said. It noted that it has already had success since entering the smart factory market last year, winning orders worth over 80 billion won this year, five times more than in 2018.

In a bid to make inroads into the smart logistics systems market, Hyundai Robotics has joined with one of the major telecom companies here, KT, developing the mobile services robot UNI.

UNI, equipped with autonomous driving and voice command features, will make its debut at a hotel in Seoul next month.

The company said it will continue to develop more diverse services robots that can be used in to supermarkets, restaurants and homes.

Hyundai Robotics entered the Chinese market at the end of last year with its industrial robots.

"We will set up a European subsidiary early next year to further expand our business overseas," a Hyundai Robotics official said.

Jun Ji-hye


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