Japan Inc’s passion for silly anthropomorphic robots has finally hit the wall of cold hard business reality:
Creating two-legged robots that cannot perform
any useful function is a waste of money.
In Japan, machines for work and play are idle
New York Times, July 13, 2009
They may be the most efficient workers in the world. But in the global downturn, they are having a tough time finding jobs. Japan’s legions of robots, the world’s largest fleet of mechanized workers, are being idled as the country suffers its deepest recession in more than a generation …Tetsuaki Ueda, an analyst at the research firm Fuji Keizai, expects the market to shrink by as much as 40 percent this year.....more...
As I have mentioned many times before, decades of creating fantasy robots like ASIMO, Aibo, Roborior, et al has bankrupted the research and development departments of Japan while not resulting in any viable products.
Also note, that the specious Japanese claim repeated in the NY Times that ‘Japan has the greatest number of factory robots’ is intentionally misleading (if not nationalistic bragging). Japan counts almost any kind of semi-autonomous factory machinery as a “robot,” whereas in the rest of the world, NC milling machines and potato pealing machines are just factory automation.
The above photos are of the Actroid fembot from my previous 3Yen report, Toyota’s robot damp dreams.
Click to view photos of the anthropomorphic fun of the sadly now unemployed Japanese robots.