Robohub.org
 

Robots on the Rise

by
20 October 2017



share this:


NEDO, Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization, is a regular funder of robotic technology, has an office in Silicon Valley, and participates in various regional events to promote its work and future programs. One such event was Robots on the Rise: The Future of Robotics in Japan and the US held October 16th in Mountain View, CA and jointly sponsored by Silicon Valley Forum.

Over 400 people attended the all-day series of panels with well-known speakers and relevant subject matter. Panels covered mobility, agricultural robotics, search and rescue, and the retail and manufacturing revolutions. Henrick Christensen from UC San Diego gave an overview of robotics in Japan and the US as a keynote. He described the key drivers propelling the robotics industry forward and the digitization of manufacturing: mass customization, unmanned vehicles, the aging society (particularly in Japan), and the continuing need for application-specific integrators.

He was followed by Atsushi Yasuda from METI, Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (the agency that funds NEDO) who emphasized Japan’s need to focus on technologies that can safely assist their aging population. Manufacturing, agriculture, nursing and medical care, plus disaster relief were points he detailed.

I was the moderator of a panel on The Manufacturing Revolution: Automated Factories with speakers from Yaskawa (Chetan Kapoor), Yamaha (Hiro Sauou), OMRON/Adept (Edwardo De Robbio), GE (Steve Taub) and VEO Robotics (Patrick Sobalvarro). Trends in this arena are being driven by the global movement toward mass customization and the need for flexibility in automation and robotics. For the next while that flexibility will use humans in the loop to collaborate with their robot counterparts.

There was also an exhibition with around 25 companies and agencies participating in a pop-up type of trade show. It was noisy, fun and informative.

Best line from the investment panel: “Invest in missionaries; not mercenaries.” 

Second best line came from Henrik Christensen regarding measuring the successfulness of home robots by their “time to boredom.”

Most interesting question and answer about the future came from James Kuffner, the CTO of Toyota Research Institute who said that Toyota asked the Institute what the company should to do after self-driving reduces the size of the car industry. Kuffner said that Toyota decided to “pivot to robotics and particularly to assistance robots for health, elder and home care.”

In the panel on unmanned vehicles, the consensus was that mapping, proprietary driving data, regulation and weather were all holdups thwarting fully autonomous vehicles (Level 5 vehicles (without pedals or a steering wheel)). Because of those problems, it was their opinion that only Level 4 would be achieved in the next decade.

NEDO’s 2017 fundings total $1.17 billion and include $99.1 million for robot technology seed and mid-term fundings for practical robotic solutions. Current projects include infrastructure inspection and maintenance, disaster response robots, elder care robots, and next-generation technologies in industrial and service robots and AI.



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 :



Hot Robotics Symposium celebrates UK success

An internationally leading robotics initiative that enables academia and industry to find innovative solutions to real world challenges, celebrated its success with a Hot Robotics Symposium hosted across three UK regions last week.
25 June 2022, by

Researchers release open-source photorealistic simulator for autonomous driving

MIT scientists unveil the first open-source simulation engine capable of constructing realistic environments for deployable training and testing of autonomous vehicles.
22 June 2022, by

In this episode, Audrow Nash speaks to Maria Telleria, who is a co-founder and the CTO of Canvas. Canvas makes a drywall finishing robot and is based in the Bay Area. In this interview, Maria talks ab...
21 June 2022, by and

Coffee with a Researcher (#ICRA2022)

As part of her role as one of the IEEE ICRA 2022 Science Communication Awardees, Avie Ravendran sat down virtually with a few researchers from academia and industry attending the conference.

Seeing the robots at #ICRA2022 through the eyes of a robot

Accessbility@ICRA2022 and OhmniLabs provided three OhmniBots for the conference, allowing students, faculty and interested industry members to attend the expo and poster sessions.
17 June 2022, by

Communicating innovation: What can we do better?

The question on what role communications play in forming the perception of innovative technology was discussed in this workshop. Experts explained how the innovation uptake should be supported by effective communication of innovations: explaining the benefits, tackling risks and fears of the audiences, and taking innovation closer to the general public.
15 June 2022, by





©2021 - ROBOTS Association


 












©2021 - ROBOTS Association