[Herald Interview] The CEO of Rainbow Robotics is betting on the use of robots in many industries

[Herald Interview] The CEO of Rainbow Robotics is betting on the use of robots in many industries

Rainbow Robotics CEO Lee Jung-ho (Lee Sang-sub/The Korea Herald)

Like many global companies, the South Korean robotics maker Rainbow Robotics was founded in 2011 in a research laboratory.

Started as a robot platform company founded by a group of researchers from the Robotics Research Center at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, the company now boasts a diverse lineup of collaborative robots, which are designed to work alongside employees at work. These robots focus more on repetitive tasks, such as checking and picking up objects, allowing workers to focus more on tasks that require problem-solving skills. Their robots are categorized based on the weight they can carry and the different reach capabilities of the arm.

In the near future, these machines will be applied in various sectors other than manufacturing and service industries, according to Rainbow Robotics CEO, Lee Jung-ho.

“The robot can be considered as a service platform, where the robot arm can be used in various projects,” Lee said in an interview with The Korea Herald.

He told me that the robot service platform is the use of robot arms in various sectors. He emphasized that using robot arms is feasible for essentially all repetitive tasks, based on one primary purpose: to support humans.

Recently, the country’s service sector has increasingly adopted robots. From making simple coffee to using robotic systems for dental implant surgery, even optometrists are using robots to scan in 3D and create a custom frame for eyeglasses.

“And the field of application of robotics will expand even more,” he told me.

Under this vision, Rainbow Robotics has teamed up with chicken robot maker Atnook in a billion-won deal to enter the global food technology market by providing D-Deck, a robotic arm that fry chicken, in five countries including the US and France. and Canada. Singapore and Australia.

D-Deck, a chicken-frying robot arm, developed by Rainbow Robotics (Rainbow Robotics)

D-Deck, a chicken-frying robot arm, developed by Rainbow Robotics (Rainbow Robotics)

According to Lee, his company is determined to create high-quality, cost-effective collaboration robots so that small and medium businesses – not just conglomerates – can use robot arm technology to their advantage.

The robotics industry currently places restrictions on small businesses in purchasing robots, mostly in terms of price. “I think only technology can solve such a problem,” he told me. An average industrial robot costs 20 million won, while a humanoid robot costs at least 400 to 500 million won.

“I am sure that robots will continue to help humans do normal and repetitive tasks, something that people refuse to do and avoid doing, and not make any mistakes at the same time,” he added.

Lee noted that the lack of social acceptance of robots is another obstacle to integrating them into people’s daily lives. He cited as an example that the public perception of self-driving cars as dangerous makes people less open to trying them, and thus negatively affects the growth of that industry.

“This can be resolved by the government creating a sponsorship system for the (robots) industry by investing and putting in more workforce, as well as more players investing in the industry,” Lee said. He cited Naver’s creation of a robot-friendly building as an example of a private company investing in the industry.

In April, Naver opened its new headquarters that adopts artificial intelligence, cloud, and robotics technologies. It includes elevators and walkways that will be used exclusively by the robots, as well as several robot charging stations.

For Lee, Rainbow Robotics aims to become a comprehensive robotics company, manufacturing various types of collaborative robots made up of homemade components and technologies, amid the influx of Chinese-made robots.

“We are launching a mobile robot that works on four wheels next year, and we will be ready day in and day out to see opportunities in the fast-growing market,” Lee said.

By Kim Da Sol (ddd@heraldcorp.com)

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