is employing cutting-edge robotic technology in various fields other than manufacturing while keeping societal demand in mind. In a wide range of areas, including aeronautics, medicine/welfare, disaster prevention, disaster investigation, and rescue, robots are now operating on the front lines.
In industrial robotics, Japan has remained the world’s leading exporter of robots in terms of both dollar value and number of operating units. In 2012, Japan exported 3.4 billion yen worth of robots, accounting for nearly half of the global market share. There were close to 300,000 operating units in Japan, accounting for around 23% of the worldwide market share.
Japan has been at the forefront of industrial robotics since the 1970s.
Japanese academic universities, companies, and other organizations work together to put Japan’s advanced robot technology into practice in a broad range of fields.
Previously, the primary workplaces for industrial robots were automobile and electronic equipment factories. The use of industrial robots grew in popularity as they performed simple tasks such as assembling parts and physically dangerous tasks such as moving heavy objects in harsh and hazardous conditions, intending to free humans from arduous labor.
The use of robots in exploring space is a subject that has gotten a lot of attention both internationally and in Japan. Japan’s robots, which are designed to the highest international standards, have many potentials to realize new space projects.
Besides, societal demand drives the research and development of disaster-response robots to rescue victims of large-scale disasters, inspect the interiors of buildings, and perform other critical operations in emergencies. Japan has accelerated the production and application of disaster-response robots in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami disaster in 2011.
A clear field of vision in rough weather and harsh conditions is one of the issues they’re focusing on. The concept is for robots or other similar devices to penetrate dangerous areas that are difficult for humans to enter, take pictures of the conditions and circumstances inside, and then process the photos to extract useful information.
Faced with an aging population, Japan’s robot technology has expanded to include robotics for healthcare and other services, such as robotic exoskeletons that help staff lift people or heavy items and robots that can accompany both the elderly and the young.
Several leading companies are already producing robotic dogs and other pets, which are admired for their interaction and companionship skills.
Pepper robots, which were co-developed by Softbank in Japan, are increasingly seen in shops and other service facilities across the country, where they assist customers. Larger Softbank mobile phone stores are among the locations where they work.
Robots are not feared in Japan. In its 2015 “New Robot Strategy,” the Japanese government put a strong emphasis on accelerating the adoption of robots in low-productivity industries such as nursing, agriculture, and infrastructure building. This strategy, of course, generates domestic demand, which benefits Japanese robot manufacturers and helps the robot industry grow.