Dexterity partners with Sumitomo to deploy 1,500 robots in Japan


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A Dexterity robot performing parcel handing operations. | Source: Dexterity

Dexterity partnered with Sumitomo, a Japan-based multinational trading and business investment company, to bring more robots to Japanese warehouses. The companies plan to deploy 1,500 intelligent material handling robots in Japan by 2026.

The companies plan to deploy Dexterity’s parcel singulation and induction solutions with its first Japanese customer by Q1 of 2023. Sumitomo will also work with Dexterity to open a demo facility in Japan in October 2022.

Sumitomo signed a distributorship agreement in Japan with Dexterity to push the Robots as a Service (RaaS) business in Japanese warehouses. The company invested in Dexterity’s 2020 funding round through its U.S.-based corporate venture capital arm Presidio Ventures.

Dexterity’s full-stack robotic platform can help robotic industrial arms to automate the toughest jobs in the warehouse. The Software as a Service (SaaS)-based platform gives robots machine learning-enforced capabilities to help them build multi-SKU pallets on the fly, singulate and induct messy flows of parcels and bags, and pick and pack easily damaged items like bread and cake.

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“The full task robots we have deployed have only increased demand for flexible automation that can operate in existing workflows and infrastructure,” Dexterity CEO Samir Menon said. “Partnering with Sumitomo will accelerate Dexterity’s customers in getting FTE robot systems up and running in their facilities.”

Since the company’s founding in 2017, Dexterity’s engineers have developed, tested and overseen the installation of all its robots, resulting in more than 40 million goods being picked in warehouses across the U.S. Dexterity’s partnership with Sumitomo will expand access to full-task robots across Japan and will ensure Dexterity’s systems will fit into existing Japanese warehouse workflows.

Japan isn’t the only foreign market Dexterity plans on dipping its toes into. In August 2022, Dexterity announced that it was establishing a strategic partnership with Dematic, an intelligent automation solutions supplier. Through the partnership, Dematic will offer Dexterity’s full-task robots as part of its intelligent automation solutions. Dematic will sell and deploy Dexterity’s robots globally and facilitate its entry into the European market.

Earlier this year, Ed Mullen, previously the VP of sales for the Americas at Mobile Industrial Robots (MiR) joined the Dexterity team as senior director of partnerships. The company recently emerged from stealth in 2020 and recently raised $140 million in Series B funding.