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Friday, February 18, 2011

Real World Testbed for Robots

The Japanese city Tsukuba City, located in Ibaraki Prefectureis, is a nationally designated "Robot Zone" hosting leading robot company Cyberdyne and research institute AIST. Tsukuba is first providing real world infrastructure and testbeds for developing and commercializing robotics technologies. Special provision in Japan´s traffic laws enable active use of Tsukuba´s parks, public roads, industrial parks, residential areas, agricultural areas, schools and shopping areas for robotics testing. The annual Tsukuba Real World Robot Challenge gathers teams of university students from all around Japan in order to test the skills of their robots in autonomous navigation on a real environment.

Robot Safety Center is the first safety certification center for civilian robotics. It will lay needed groundwork for interantional safety standards that are needed before robots can be put to wide public use. A collaboration between a number of organizations including Japan’s Automobile Research Institute (JARI), the center has areas for testing various robots and exoskeletons for things like obstacle detection, electronic jamming resistance, durability, and more. As well as developing safety standards for the devices, it is hoped that within the next five years it will provide certification services for new robots as they become commercially available.

Tsukuba High Tech Park is a "mini" industrial park for robotics start-ups and provides training and education for the workforce needed to support robotics business models.

The planned Tsukuba Robotics Solution Center will promote cooperation between industry, institutes and universities to apply robotics to real world needs.

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