News and Updates on HD Hyundai

HHI Group and KT to "Accelerate Digital Transformation, Starting with Intelligent Robots"

Hyundai Robotics, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) Holdings that offers comprehensive robotics solutions, has won a KRW 50 billion investment from KT Corp., South Korea's largest telecommunications company, to collaborate toward digital transformation, including joint development of intelligent service robots.
On June 16, Hyundai Robotics signed a pre-IPO (initial public offering) agreement with KT, which is worth KRW 50 billion, at the KT headquarters located in central Seoul.

The signing ceremony was attended by Chung Kisun, Vice President & Head of Management Support Office at HHI Holdings; Seo Yoo-seong, Vice President & CEO of Hyundai Robotics; and Koo Hyeon-mo, President & CEO of KT, among other senior executives of each side.

KT is to acquire a 10% stake in Hyundai Robotics following its planned IPO in 2022 or at some point later under this agreement, with Hyundai Robotics' corporate value estimated at KRW 500 billion.
Sources say KT's investment decision came as a result of its acknowledgment of Hyundai Robotics' strong competitiveness, which claims the largest share in the domestic market for industrial robots, and its high potential for further growth after entering the market for service robots.

Also signed on this day was a 'group-level business cooperation agreement' between HHI Holdings and KT, representing the two parties' commitment to joint efforts in multiple areas, such as AI and ICT, in response to the rapidly changing markets.

In addition, the two parties agreed to form a cooperation committee (consisting of six members) co-chaired by Mr. Chung Kisun and Mr. Koo Hyeon-mo, in a bid to strengthen existing business collaborations and actively explore new business opportunities together.

This group-level business cooperation agreement places a particular focus on service robots used in hotels and restaurants and on ICT-based smart factories, among other areas.

As for service robots, joint efforts will be made to develop intelligent robots and autonomous driving algorithms, with Hyundai Robotics taking charge of developing hardware and KT taking charge of developing and applying software for operation.

By developing intelligent robots serving food and beverages at hotels and restaurants as well as cleaning and patrol robots loaded with cleaning and security functions jointly with KT, Hyundai Robotics aims to push beyond the current foothold in the market for industrial robots and build a presence in the market for service robots, setting up a blueprint for becoming a global top-tier robot company.

As for smart factories, the two parties will work together to develop an operation management platform, and based on this, Hyundai Robotics will supply robots while KT will be responsible for providing wireless cloud service.

This smart solution to be developed, aimed at a distinguished production management and process analysis, will be also applied for smart hospitals and smart logistics.

"Going forward, it will be the ability to read the market trends and make necessary changes that defines a manufacturing company's competitiveness, not just its production capacity," said Mr. Chung Kisun. "We expect this extensive business cooperation with KT will greatly help Hyundai Robotics as well as HHI Group further strengthen their competitiveness as a global leader in digital transformation."

"KT is committed to strengthening South Korea's industrial competitiveness and the transformation of the manufacturing industry in the post-COVID 19 era, taking advantage of our 5G and AI capabilities in cooperation with HHI Group," said Mr. Koo Hyeon-mo. "Beginning with this cooperation with HHI Group, we will continue working on expanding digital transformation into diverse areas."

After signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on '5G-based smart business' in May last year, HHI Holdings and KT jointly launched in February this year "AI One Team," which aims to lift South Korea to global leadership in AI. In May this year, the two parties also signed an MoU to develop '5G-based smart construction equipment and industrial vehicle solutions', increasingly strengthening bilateral cooperation for digital transformation in various fields, including smart shipyards, robots, and construction equipment.