Rethink Robotics GmbH, a subsidiary of German automation expert HAHN Group, opened its new headquarters and production facility in Bochum, Germany. Rethink also announced Siemens Technology Accelerator (STA) acquired a minority stake in Rethink as part of a technology contribution.
Rethink’s premises are part of the new HAHN Group Technology Center, a meeting point for customers and partners. HAHN said the technology center is located close to universities and research institutions, creating a place for the exchange of information, skills and technological developments.
“The opening of the new corporate headquarters and production facility of Rethink Robotics symbolizes the transformation of the mining region into a location for future technologies,” said Bernd Tönjes, CEO of the RAG-Stiftung, which holds a majority stake in the HAHN Group through its holding company RSBG SE. “We supported the settlement from the start and are sure that Rethink Robotics will find an ideal environment here in order to continue their growth.”
Siemens helping Rethink Robotics advance Sawyer cobot
As part of its deal with Rethink, STA is sharing its know-how, patents and designs for lightweight robots and cobots. The company’s are also collaborating on Rethink’s Intera software.
Co-founded by Rodney Brooks in 2008, Rethink Robotics shut its doors in late 2018. While robotics experts marked the end of the cobot pioneer, its staff found new jobs, and HAHN Group bought its assets. The new Rethink Robotics GmbH said it would continue support and development of Sawyer.
“With the technology from Siemens, we are getting closer to the start of a new series of robots very quickly and will be presenting a first prototype in spring 2021,” said Daniel Bunse, CEO of Rethink Robotics GmbH.
Rethink announced the Sawyer Black Edition cobot in October 2019. Sawyer Black Edition has the same maximum reach of 1,260mm (49.6 in.), a payload of 4kg (8.8 lb.), and seven degrees of freedom as its predecessor. Its first three joints have the same range of 350 degrees, with Joints 4 and 5 limited to 340 degrees. Joint 6 still has 540 degrees.
The updated cobot is slightly faster, with a typical tool speed of 1.5 m/sec, compared with 1 m/sec. The I/O for end-of-arm tooling is four digital in, two digital out, and two analog in, but now requires a Click Smart plate for quick gripper changes. The I/O for power remains 24 volts, 2 amps.