Japan's Unemployed Robots

Japan's Unemployed Robots

Postby Markus Waibel on 17 Jul 2009, 08:42

In contrast with these robot celebrations, recent figures of show that the global economic downturn has hit robotics particularly hard in the country with the world's highest robot-to-human ratio. Shipments of industrial robots in Japan fell 33 percent in the last quarter of 2008, and 59 percent in the first quarter of 2009, according to the Japan Robot Association.

Analysts expect the industrial robotics market in Japan to shrink by as much as 40 percent this year, commenting that investment in robots “has been the first to go as companies protect their human workers” and that many of Japan’s robotics projects tend to be too far-fetched and cannot be readily brought to market.

Meanwhile, robots which have found their niche, such as unmanned aerial systems and ground bots that can aid warfighters, continue to succeed spectacularly.

Links:
NY Times
Botropolis
Popular Science
Markus Waibel
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