Investment banker turns king of robots

Dhaka,  Sun,  20 August 2017
Published : 19 Jun 2017, 14:16:58
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Investment banker turns king of robots

Investment banker turns king of robots
Till Reuter is rare among business leaders in that he landed the gig by accident. The chief executive of Kuka, the German robotics maker, was an investment banker when in 2009 he was thrust into the chief executive’s job as a “temporary” measure, according to a global media report Monday.

Almost eight years later he is still there. His aggressive, fast-acting management style has contributed to Kuka’s growth, from a company valued at €250 million and reliant on the car industry, to a pioneer in electronics, healthcare, and the integration of hardware and software for the industrialised internet of things and worth more than €4 billion.

Kuka robots are not the playful sort. Think of heavy, metallic arms, rather than R2-D2. They do not have eyes, mouths, or read human emotions. But what they lack in humanity they make up for in precision and efficiency.

Kuka was acquired last year by Midea, China’s largest appliance company. The move opened possibilities for collaboration on robots for home use, a thriving market expected to more than triple in the next five years. At the Hannover (Hanover in English) trade fair in April, Kuka showed off how its more agile robots might operate at home by pouring glasses of beer.

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