AkzoNobel has entered into a partnership with French early stage startup Les Companions, which is focused on developing a paint robot capable of working on interior walls. The technology will help painters complete jobs faster and more efficiently, while making working conditions safer.

The collaboration is part of our pioneering Paint the Future innovation ecosystem and things are developing fast, with our Decorative Paints business in the UK planning to launch initial trials by summer 2020.

“This is a fantastic example of how we’re pushing the boundaries of the paints and coatings industry,” explains Menno van der Zalm, Director of Innovation at AkzoNobel. “I’m extremely proud that Les Companions has welcomed us as a partner and can’t wait to help this exciting startup bring robot technology into the hands of professional painters.”

Adds Antoine Rennuit, CEO of Les Companions: “We’re delighted to be working with AkzoNobel. It will enable us to accelerate the development of robots that assist painters with tedious and difficult painting tasks, while the painters themselves can focus on decision-making and activities that rely on their craftsmanship.”

The first robot is currently being built and will be transported to our deco organization in the UK to undergo tests in lab-controlled setting. Once the trials of the prototype are complete, the robot will be further improved before being made available to customers.

It’s only a matter of time before paint robots start being used in construction. They’re expected to play an important role in making working conditions safer by taking over more extreme tasks, such as working at height.

“As a company which believes in taking its products and solutions beyond expectation, imagination and generations, we’re thrilled to be exploring exciting new possibilities with Les Companions,” says Klaas Kruithof, AkzoNobel’s Chief Technology Officer. “It’s exactly the kind of collaboration that our Paint the Future innovation ecosystem is designed for: to inspire, create and be successful together.”