IRIS OHYAMA Inc. and SoftBank Robotics Group Corp. have entered into the “Business Alliance Agreement” seeking to create medium- to long-term demand in the robotics market and solve social issues. In addition, IRIS OHYAMA, based in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, has agreed to accept the “Third-Party Allotment of Shares” implemented by Tokyo-based SoftBank Robotics Group, totaling 10 billion yen.
In Japan, the labor shortage is becoming a serious issue due to the declining birthrate, aging population, and the effects of the spread and prolonged infection of the novel coronavirus. Furthermore, DX (digital transformation) has progressed in various fields of socioeconomic activities, and new demand creation is required in the post-coronavirus era. Therefore, IRIS OHYAMA and SoftBank Robotics Group established a joint venture, “Iris Robotics Co., Ltd.,” in February 2021 in order to make a full-scale entry into the market for corporate services and robotics. The company provides a total solution for business robotization, such as consultation and establishment support for corporate services and robots in business settings.
In this way, the two companies have built an excellent relationship through the robotic business. With this business alliance and the implementation of the “Third-Party Allotment of Shares,” the management resources and know-how of each company will be integrated to further strengthen the cooperation. The two companies will together contribute to the realization of long-term improvements of corporate values and solutions to social issues. In order to respond to the developing DX and accomplish a sustainable society, the duo will make efforts to “solve the labor shortage and shift to DX,” “accomplish a carbon-free society and contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions,” and “develop and improve new solutions.”
Business Alliance Overview
1. Efforts to solve labor shortage and shift to DX
Given the DX shift acceleration due to the serious labor shortage and coronavirus pandemic, the two companies regard the service robotics field as a growing sector and are expanding the field through the development of new models and introduction to companies, medical facilities and educational institutions.
2. Accomplishing carbon-free society and contributing to CO2 cuts
To address environmental issues such as accomplishing a carbon-free society and reducing CO2 emissions, the pair will reduce fuel consumption and solve environmental issues by connecting the wireless control system “LiCONEX” to IRIS OHYAMA’s service robots to improve operational efficiency.
3. Development and improvement of new solutions
By implementing DX, saving labor and improving efficiency, the two companies will promote research and development of robots that respond to social changes. Through the synergistic efforts of IRIS OHYAMA’s product development capabilities and the great knowledge and technology in the field of AI robot OS possessed by SoftBank Robotics Group, the duo will seek to create a new market.
IRIS OHYAMA Inc.
Headquarters: 2-12-1 Itsutsubashi, Aoba-ku Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture, JAPAN
Established: April, 1971
Description of business: Planning, manufacturing and sales of housewares
Representative: Akihiro Ohyama, Executive President
SoftBank Robotics Group Corp.
Headquarters: 1-7-1 Kaigan, Minato-ku, Tokyo, JAPAN
Established: January, 2012
Description of business:
As a holding company that oversees the robotics business in the SoftBank Group, the Company is engaged in management activities with the objective of investing in and growing subsidiaries. In this fiscal year, the Company also started to engage in research and development activities of robot products.
Representative: Fumihide Tomizawa, President & CEO
Source: IRIS OHYAMA Inc.