Hitachi Acquires Kyoto Robotics, a Start-up Developing Intelligent Robotics Systems

By Shin Kai

Acquisition or Partnership

Hitachi, Ltd. announced that it had acquired approximately 96% of all issued shares of Kyoto Robotics Corporation, a start-up developing intelligent robotic systems, and made it a subsidiary on April 1. The need for automation is rapidly increasing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Against this backdrop, Hitachi acquired Kyoto Robotics and its unique, advanced technologies, including three-dimensional vision and a control system of robots using AI. This enables the Hitachi Group to provide one-stop and speedy robotic systems integration for an entire automated line in the fields of logistics and factory automation.

Kyoto Robotics was founded in 2000 and has been developing intelligent robotic systems that are masterless and do not require teaching that recognize objects using three-dimensional vision, like humans, and think and carry objects using AI control systems, aiming for full automation at logistics and manufacturing sites. The three-dimensional vision system is based on sophisticated image processing technology developed by Kyoto Robotics and supports intelligent robots as their eyes, and it has a 99.99% object recognition accuracy rate. High-precision loading algorithms and AI technology of motion planning, which work as a brain, that enables robot control to cover a wide variety of package types and loading conditions.

With the significant technology development capabilities, Kyoto Robotics partners with a wide range of robot manufacturers and has a proven track record of delivering more than 400 robotic systems in Japan that are primarily for palletizing and depalletizing operations that are difficult to fully automate with robots, because of handling objects of many different shapes and weights at logistics and manufacturing sites.

In 2019, Hitachi acquired U.S.-based JR Automation, and Hitachi Industrial Equipment Systems Co., Ltd. acquired Japan-based KEC Corporation. The Hitachi Group is globally expanding and strengthening its capabilities in the robotic SI field.

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