Rethink Robotics, the Boston, Mass.-based maker of collaborative robots Baxter and Sawyer, shut its doors today. Rethink was founded in 2008 and raised nearly $150 million to date, according to Crunchbase. It’s last round of funding was an $18 million Series E in August 2017.
Rethink Robotics CEO Scott Eckert confirmed the news via email to The Robot Report.
“I can confirm that unfortunately the news is true, Rethink Robotics closed its doors today,” Eckert writes. “We were pioneers and innovators in the industry and responsible for the creation of the collaborative robot category, but unfortunately we didn’t quite achieve the market success we had intended. We have been helping our team find new homes and have been overwhelmed with interest. It’s a world-class group of people will continue to do great things in their next endeavors.”
But this is tough news for robotics community, of course. Rethink, which was founded in 2008, has been an important part of growing the collaborative robotics market. Founder Rodney Brooks and Ann Whitaker, Rethink Robotics sold the cobot concept so thoroughly that it’s now an important, growing segment of the robotics industry.
We last heard from Rethink Robotics, which was once known as Heartland Robotics, in July 2018 when it announced it was adding seven distributors throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. Unfortunately, those distributors didn’t have much time to sell the Rethink concept.
This story is developing and will be updated if we learn more.