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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Japan Robotics JV for mass market robots

The robotics fight between Japan and South Korea accellerates. In Japan the four robotics companies ZMP Inc, Business Design Laboratory Co, Vstone Co and Tmsuk have formed the “Association for market creation of the future generation robots” to cooperate in research, development and marketing. After a decade of working in isolation, Japanese robot startups now need a broader, more-agressive front to push products to mass market, said Yoichi Takamoto, Tmsuk CEO and chair of the newly formed group.

The Japanese firms are concerned about South Korea ambitious robotics plans to put a robot in every household by 2020. The South Korean government has mobilized companies and scientists to help integrate robots into Korean society. The country plans to build two robot theme parks by 2013 and even drafted a “Robot Ethics Code” last year to prevent robot-human abuse. In February, the National Assembly passed a bill to spur development and marketing of intelligent robots. The law also established investment firms to provide financial support for robotics manufacturers.

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