Robohub.org
 

Japan’s new robotics push: Funding and deregulation

by
25 November 2014



share this:

nextage In June, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he wanted to treble the market for robots in Japan to $22 billion by 2020. Last month, the government launched a “robot revolution realization council” to craft a five-year blueprint to beef up the industry.

Japan has the world’s largest population of at-work robots. But that prominence is threatened from recent coordinated efforts in the US, Germany, South Korea and China. Thus the emphasis by Prime Minister Abe to “make robots a key pillar of our growth strategy… to make Japan competitive again.”

Deregulation and strategic funding are at the heart of Japan’s and Abe’s 5-year growth plan and their New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO).

In one example described on CNBC, the team testing a brain surgery robot, had to shut down because of over regulation. They watched as the da Vinci surgical system became a commercial success while their and other Japanese prototypes languished in laboratories.

But now the new NEDO has recruited Kawasaki and Panasonic to make a rival to the da Vinci that could perform more intricate tasks including brain surgery. The new surgical robot thrust is a $42 million part of the overall $138 million framework. Part of that framework is regulatory reforms so that new robotic surgical devices will have an easier time with regulators and meet their goal of having rival products in clinical trials by 2019.

The Japanese government estimates the market for care service robots will reach $3.7 billion by 2035 from just $155 million today, and is encouraging products from Japanese companies to service those needs. They have also issued the world’s first safety standard for personal care robots to aid large corporations in their pursuit of the care marketplace. Panasonic, Yaskawa, Toyota, Cyberdyne and other Japanese companies have all announced care product plans over the next few years.

  • Panasonic has begun selling a robotic bed that converts into a wheelchair and will also begin to sell a robot to assist the elderly with walking;
  • Yaskawa will start selling a device to transport a bed-ridden person from the bed to a wheelchair and a robotic device for leg rehabilitation;
  • Toyota will start leasing rehab robots for mobility-disabled patients;
  • Cyberdyne’s HAL exoskeleton suit received approval from the new safety board earlier this year.

Other countries are also pushing robotics to the forefront of industrial policy: China, where sales grew 32-fold over the last decade to eclipse Japan as the biggest robot market in 2013, aims to make one-third of its own robots by 2015.

South Korea has a five-year plan to spend $500 million a year on its robotics industry, while the European Union has earmarked $125 million a year to its Horizon 2020 program that aims to pull in a further 2 billion euros in private funding.

If you liked this article, you may also be interested in:

See all the latest robotics news on Robohub, or sign up for our weekly newsletter.



tags: , , , ,


Frank Tobe is the owner and publisher of The Robot Report, and is also a panel member for Robohub's Robotics by Invitation series.
Frank Tobe is the owner and publisher of The Robot Report, and is also a panel member for Robohub's Robotics by Invitation series.





Related posts :



Sensing with purpose

Fadel Adib uses wireless technologies to sense the world in new ways, taking aim at sweeping problems such as food insecurity, climate change, and access to health care.
29 January 2023, by

Robot Talk Episode 34 – Interview with Sabine Hauert

In this week's episode of the Robot Talk podcast, host Claire Asher chatted to Dr Sabine Hauert from the University of Bristol all about swarm robotics, nanorobots, and environmental monitoring.
28 January 2023, by

Special drone collects environmental DNA from trees

Researchers at ETH Zurich and the Swiss Federal research institute WSL have developed a flying device that can land on tree branches to take samples. This opens up a new dimension for scientists previously reserved for biodiversity researchers.
27 January 2023, by

The robots of CES 2023

Robots were on the main expo floor at CES this year, and these weren’t just cool robots for marketing purposes. I’ve been tracking robots at CES for more than 10 years, watching the transition from robot toys to real robots.
25 January 2023, by

Robot Talk Episode 33 – Interview with Dan Stoyanov

In this week's episode of the Robot Talk podcast, host Claire Asher chatted to Professor Dan Stoyanov from University College London all about robotic vision, surgical robotics, and artificial intelligence.
20 January 2023, by





©2021 - ROBOTS Association


 












©2021 - ROBOTS Association