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Ramp up our solutions for the growing material handling industry

In January 2022, we entered into a partnership agreement with France-based ez-Wheel, a manufacturer that developed the world’s first safety wheel drive for AGV and AMR to incorporate drive control and safety features essential to safe automated
driving. ISO (International Organization for Standardization) publication of an international safety standard in 2020 prompted requirements for transportation robots and other mobile robots operating in areas with people to be equipped with a safe
motion monitoring function, generating a growing need for products compliant with the standard.

Against this backdrop, demand has been rising for ez-Wheel’s lineup of safety wheel drives, which incorporate safety features necessary for complying with standards. Recognizing this potential, we secured the exclusive marketing rights for ez-Wheel products in Japan through the partnership agreement, and since FY2023 we have offered diverse solutions integrating their products with our emergencystop
switches, safety laser scanners, and other safety devices.

The use of automated driving wheels is growing as distribution and manufacturing businesses increasingly consider adopting AMR to reduce staffing needs and workload through automated transportation.

Safety wheel drives integrate all functions necessary for safe automated driving,
including the safe motion functionality specified by ISO for operation in areas
with people.

Meanwhile, our assist wheel drive, which make it easier for workers to transport
heavy objects, have been the focus of many customer inquiries from the automotive industry, which deals with heavy items on a daily basis. We expect to see greater adoption of both types of wheels in the coming years.

Assist wheel drive are a simple solution for equipping industrial carts with electric
assist, which facilitates transport of heavy objects that otherwise could not be easily
moved by a single worker.

In order to better respond to the different needs of diverse customers and industries, we are phasing in a system of support covering the four services below. As of FY2023, we have deployed services (1) and (2). Our ultimate goal is to provide full packaged solutions (including software) for building AGV and AMR. We are exploring opportunities for partnering and M&A as an avenue for strengthening our software capabilities.

In addition, group company IDEC AUTO-ID SOLUTIONS CORPORATION offers a broad lineup of automatic identification devices that help to improve the efficiency of distribution operations. It is now expanding sales to serve the growing needs of the material handling industry.

We are committed to helping customers overcome their challenges by creating new value for them. To do this, we are actively leveraging our technological strengths in core areas such as HMI, safety, and ANSHIN, while further reinforcing our software and IoT capabilities.