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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Japan´s New Robot Plans

Today the Japanese robotics strategy is focused on three main sectors, manufacturing industry, service industry and work in special environments. The national robotics program includes three projects: 1 Strategic Development of Advanced Robotics Elemental Technologies (Budget 2008: 800 million yen), 2 Intelligent Robot Technology Software Project (1,5 billion yen), 3 Project for Open Innovation Promotion by Utilizing Basic Robotic Technology (100 million yen).

Research and development will be carried out on (1) production robot systems that can handle
flexible goods and (2) human-robot cooperative cell production and assembly systems in the area of next-generation industrial robots; (1) a manipulation RT system for clearing tasks, (2) a communication RT system to work with elderly people, and (3) a conveyance robot system in the area of service robots; and (1) an RT system to travel within disasteraffected buildings and (2) industry waste disposal handling RT systems in the area of special environment robots.

NEDO Robotics Strategy 2008

Next-generation robots
The Japanese innovation authority NEDO has selected six types of robots that will be continued to be developed for the coming two years under its "Project Strategic Development of Advanced Robotics Elemental Technologies".

NEDO has selected Mitsubishi Electric Corp's "R&D of Robotic System for FA Equipment Assembly," an industrial robotic system capable of handling soft items, as well as Fanuc Ltd's "Development of Cell Production/Assembly System for Advanced Industrial Countries," a human-robot cooperative cell production/assembly system to be continued.

As for the service robots, NEDO selected the "R&D of System for Handling Randomly Piled Laundry," a manipulation RT (robot technology) system intended for organizing by Kagawa University and its partners, as well as the "Development of Omni-directional Autonomous Delivery Robot," a robotic delivery system by Murata Machinery Ltd and its partners. The robotic delivery system uses a delivery robot intended for reducing the burden on nurses by, for example, delivering drugs to patients late at night. Murata Machinery plans to periodically conduct verification testing in hospitals to improve its utility.

In regard to the robots for specific environments, the "High-speed Running Search Robots for Confined Space," an RT system for moving inside collapsed buildings developed by International Rescue System Institute (IRS) and its partners as well as Tokyu Construction Co Ltd's "Development of Waste Separation and Sorting System Using Next-generation Manipulator," an RT system for dealing with construction waste, were selected for continued development.

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