Rethink Robotics

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Rethink Robotics GmbH
FormerlyHeartland Robotics, Inc.[1]
FoundersRodney Brooks, Ann Whittaker
Key people
Daniel Bunse, CEO since October 2019
ProductsSawyer, Intera, ClickSmart
OwnerHAHN Group GmbH

Rethink Robotics (formerly Heartland Robotics, Inc.[1]) is a robotics company co-founded by Rodney Brooks and Ann Whittaker in 2008.[2] Rethink Robotics is now part of the HAHN Group.

Rethink Robotics has won awards and has been an Edison Awards finalist.[3]

Sawyer collaborative robot
Sawyer, the collaborative robot


Rethink Robotics was founded in 2008[2] as a startup aiming to create low-cost robots.[4] In 2012, they released the robot Baxter.[5] In 2015, they released a smaller and more flexible counterpart to Baxter, Sawyer, that was designed to perform smaller, more detailed tasks.[5]

In 2016, they released their collaborative robots (cobots) worldwide. These robots were designed to be easy to set up and work alongside, rather than replace, humans in factory environments.[6]

In October 2018, Rethink Robotics ceased operations and sold off its assets. Other companies picked up support for the robots.[7]

  • Most of the Rethink Robotics assets were bought by a distributor, the HAHN Group, a German automation specialist.[8][9] HAHN Group acquired all of Rethink's patents and trademarks as well as Rethink's Intera 5 software platform.[10]
  • About 100 Baxter robots and the rights to sell them in North America were bought by Hunan CoThink Robotics Technology Company.[11]

In October 2019, one year after the acquisition of assets through the German HAHN Group, Rethink Robotics launched the new Sawyer BLACK Edition.[12] The headquarters of Rethink Robotics moved from Rheinböllen to Bochum in mid 2020, and signed a partnership with Siemens.[13][14]



  1. ^ a b "Heartland Robotics, Inc. Changes Name to Rethink Robotics - Yahoo Finance". 2016-02-03. Archived from the original on 2016-02-03. Retrieved 2018-10-05.
  2. ^ a b "Company Overview of Rethink Robotics, Inc". Bloomberg Business. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  3. ^ John Duhamel; et al. (May 20, 2013). "Rethink Robotics -- Finding a Market" (PDF). Stanford University. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  4. ^ Guizzo, Erico; Ackerman, Evan (September 18, 2012). "How Rethink Robotics Built Its New Baxter Robot Worker". IEEE Spectrum. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  5. ^ a b Jack Linshi (March 19, 2015). "Meet Sawyer, a New Robot That Wants to Revolutionize Manufacturing". Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  6. ^ Claire Roberta (January 29, 2016). "Impact Robotics introduces next-gen "cobots" in Australia". Australian Manufacturing. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  7. ^ "Rethink Robotics Cobots get Continuing Support". Robotics Business Review. Retrieved 2019-11-27. Rethink Robotics is gone — or is it? News from Germany and China should provide relief for owners of Baxter and Sawyer cobots worried about continuing support.
  8. ^ "Rethink Robotics Closes its Doors". The Robot Report. 2018-10-03. Retrieved 2018-10-05.
  9. ^ "Pioneering creator of collaborative 'cobots' Rethink Robotics shuts down". The Verge. Retrieved 2018-10-05.
  10. ^ "HAHN Group acquires Rethink Robotics IP". The Robot Report. 2018-10-25. Retrieved 2018-11-05.
  11. ^ "Rethink Robotics Cobots get Continuing Support". Robotics Business Review. Retrieved 2019-11-27.
  12. ^ "Rethink Robotics launches Sawyer Black Edition". Robotics & Automation News. 2019-10-18. Retrieved 2020-04-22.
  13. ^ Rethink Robotics moves into new HQ, partners with Siemens - Manufacturing Automation, 1 October 2020
  14. ^ "Legal Notice | Rethink Robotics". Retrieved 2020-07-22.