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Robots take center stage in SoftBank tie-up, Iris Ohyama chief says

$87m investment to boost collaboration as home goods maker expands

A robot at an Iris Ohyama factory in Dalian, China. Robots will be a major roll in solving pandemic-related labor shortages, Iris Ohyama CEO Akihiro Ohyama says. (Photo by Manami Sakai)

SENDAI, Japan -- Japanese manufacturer Iris Ohyama is "positioning robots at the top of our business-to-business" operations in its partnership with SoftBank Group's robotics unit, CEO Akihiro Ohyama said in an interview on Wednesday.

Iris Ohyama is investing 10 billion yen ($87 million) inTokyo-based SoftBank Robotics under a capital and business tie-up announced the same day. The Japanese home goods and electronics maker has said it aims to make commercial robots the next big earnings driver.

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