Japan's robots will repeat the "win in the technology lost in the business" tragedy?

Source: Internet
Author: User
Keywords Cloud computing Big Data Microsoft Google Apple cloud security cloud security

Last year, when Google acquired the Schaft of a micro-start-up company founded by 2 Japanese robotics engineers, a new understanding of the threat to Japan was emerging, the FT website reported. New technology companies, including Apple and Amazon, are increasingly interested in robotics.

"You don't have to worry about money, you just have to focus on changing the world," says Rubin, who is the head of Google's robotics department. "But Google's investment is vital to the survival of the new company, injecting new energy into the Schaft and its two-legged robotics program."

Schaft, founded by a professor at the University of Tokyo's renowned robotics laboratory, spent 1 years looking for investors in Japan before being bought by Google. Takashi Kato, the company's former chief financial officer, said the Japanese government and several Japanese technology and venture companies were dismissive of the company's humanoid robots designed to act in disaster areas.

Kato recalls: "Financing failed completely, but prompted us to make a decision to go to America." "Although few people in Japan see Schaft's commercial potential, Schaft's robots won in the Advanced Robotics Competition sponsored by DARPA at the end of 2013," the agency said.

When President Obama visited Japan in April, he also watched the Schaft and Honda ASIMO show. Research on disaster-rescue robots in the United States has often been heavily funded by the military, and in the 2011 Fudao nuclear spill, US robots launched a rescue that prompted Schaft to develop a robot capable of working in disaster conditions.

In addition to the military's interest-and the recent development of artificial intelligence and drone technology-Silicon Valley companies are beginning to see the future of robots in civilian use. The same is true in Japan. After the sale of Schaft to Google, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged to make robots a key pillar of their development strategy. His goal is to increase the size of the Japanese robot market to 2.4 trillion yen (about $20 billion trillion) by 2020.

According to the International Robotics Federation (IFR), the current global market for industrial robotics systems is about $29 billion trillion. In response to the government's call, Japanese technology giants including Panasonic, Toshiba and Sharp are developing their own robotics technology. The robots studied by these companies include humanoid robots with robotic coats and fingers that are flexible enough to speak the language, as well as multilingual cleaning robots.

Japanese companies also expect robots to boost sales as traditional consumer electronics such as televisions and PCs are slipping. But Yukio Honda, a robot professor at Osaka University of Technology, said: "It's hard to innovate in big companies." "Experts say new technologies often bring security risks that damage the company's brand image, and to avoid it, they always spend years or decades developing before they are put on the market."

"Even after a lot of experimentation, these risks are often greater than the expected yield," said Honda, who left Panasonic in 2012. "For example, the Panasonic robot bed that became a wheelchair earlier this year established international safety standards for robotic care and reduced the risk of corporate security responsibility." But the product does not necessarily use state-of-the-art robotics and requires artificial assistance to move the patient to bed.

Executives say they need to discount certain technologies to meet safety and cost requirements. Hideo Kawakami, director of the Panasonic Robot Bed project, said: "There are too many unknowns about the new robot, including risk." "With the aging of Japanese society, many companies are doing their work on nursing robots," he said.

October Toshiba launched its prototype humanoid robot, which can smile and blink, wearing a pink blouse and a white skirt. The company hopes that by 2020, the robot will become a partner for older people and dementia. The robot is also part of Toshiba's plan to increase health-care products sales by March 2018 from the current $3.4 billion trillion to $8.5 billion.

But the company has been developing robots at least since the 80 's, and has so far not released any successful mass market products other than the robots used in the industry. "Japanese companies often win technically but lose in business," Honda said. ”

But companies stripped from big companies and university laboratories still have some encouraging innovations. The former member of the Sony Aibo Machine Dog team founded at least 3 start-ups. Abe has said he wants to turn Japan into a "big entrepreneurial powerhouse". But the financing challenges facing Schaft show that those who leave the established companies still carry their original cultural imprint.

Kato said: "If the Japanese market continues to face difficulties, smart and technologically minded people will run to Silicon Valley." Japan's dislike of people in the United States may suddenly be seen as God. ”

(Responsible editor: Mengyishan)

Related Article

Contact Us

The content source of this page is from Internet, which doesn't represent Alibaba Cloud's opinion; products and services mentioned on that page don't have any relationship with Alibaba Cloud. If the content of the page makes you feel confusing, please write us an email, we will handle the problem within 5 days after receiving your email.

If you find any instances of plagiarism from the community, please send an email to: info-contact@alibabacloud.com and provide relevant evidence. A staff member will contact you within 5 working days.

A Free Trial That Lets You Build Big!

Start building with 50+ products and up to 12 months usage for Elastic Compute Service

  • Sales Support

    1 on 1 presale consultation

  • After-Sales Support

    24/7 Technical Support 6 Free Tickets per Quarter Faster Response

  • Alibaba Cloud offers highly flexible support services tailored to meet your exact needs.