World tech summit imagines future coexistence of robots and humans
October 18 2018 12:05 AM
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Big Clapper robots clap along with music at a demonstration in World Robot Summit in Tokyo yesterday.

DPA/Tokyo

Japan kicked off the World Robot Summit on Tokyo’s waterfront yesterday, providing a glimpse of how humans and robots can coexist and co-operate. 
The five-day event, held at the Tokyo Big Sight convention centre, consists of two major venues – the World Robot Expo (WRE) and the World Robot Challenge (WRC). At the expo, more than 90 companies, municipalities and organisations, many of which are from Japan, were displaying and demonstrating the state-of-the-art robotic technology.
Visitors can see and experience the latest robotic technology used in factories, hospitals, homes and in the field of nursing care, while experts were invited to discuss how humans and robots will live together in the future. Japan’s largest carmaker Toyota Motor has brought the latest rehabilitation robot called Welwalk into the summit. It is designed to help people who are partially paralysed to conduct gait training.
“You may ask why in the world carmaker Toyota has developed rehabilitation robots,” said company engineer Hitoshi Konosu.”Well, we consider ourselves a mobility company. Walking is fundamental to mobility.”
Since Toyota unveiled Welwalk devices last year, 60 hospitals in the country have been using them, Konosu said. The engineer has spent about 10 years to use advanced robotics to produce rehabilitation robots, he said.”In Europe, rehabilitation robots were introduced about 10 years ago.
 However, in Japan, we’ve started to see them these last few years,” he said. 
The carmaker is keen to export rehabilitation robots to neighbouring countries, such as China. Many companies were demonstrating collaborative robots at the expo, and they expect the market to grow significantly. 
Manufacturers want collaborative robots because of a lack of skilled workers and increasing labour costs, said Ryosuke Iwamoto, an official at Yaskawa Electric.” They want to work out a cost-effective way.”
Japan has struggled with labour shortage issues for more than a decade. The situations in outlying regions are worse. “More factories are located in rural areas, where they have been suffering from depopulation and salaries are relatively lower,” Iwamoto said. 
Meanwhile, at the summit, 126 teams from 23 countries are competing in four categories: industrial robotics, service robotics, disaster robotics and junior, which features entries by students.

Big Clapper robots clap along with music at a demonstration in World Robot Summit in Tokyo yesterday.



DPA 
Tokyo 




Japan kicked off the World Robot Summit on Tokyo’s waterfront yesterday, providing a glimpse of how humans and robots can coexist and co-operate. 
The five-day event, held at the Tokyo Big Sight convention centre, consists of two major venues – the World Robot Expo (WRE) and the World Robot Challenge (WRC). At the expo, more than 90 companies, municipalities and organisations, many of which are from Japan, were displaying and demonstrating the state-of-the-art robotic technology.
Visitors can see and experience the latest robotic technology used in factories, hospitals, homes and in the field of nursing care, while experts were invited to discuss how humans and robots will live together in the future. Japan’s largest carmaker Toyota Motor has brought the latest rehabilitation robot called Welwalk into the summit. It is designed to help people who are partially paralysed to conduct gait training.
“You may ask why in the world carmaker Toyota has developed rehabilitation robots,” said company engineer Hitoshi Konosu.”Well, we consider ourselves a mobility company. Walking is fundamental to mobility.”
Since Toyota unveiled Welwalk devices last year, 60 hospitals in the country have been using them, Konosu said. The engineer has spent about 10 years to use advanced robotics to produce rehabilitation robots, he said.”In Europe, rehabilitation robots were introduced about 10 years ago.
 However, in Japan, we’ve started to see them these last few years,” he said. 
The carmaker is keen to export rehabilitation robots to neighbouring countries, such as China. Many companies were demonstrating collaborative robots at the expo, and they expect the market to grow significantly. 
Manufacturers want collaborative robots because of a lack of skilled workers and increasing labour costs, said Ryosuke Iwamoto, an official at Yaskawa Electric.” They want to work out a cost-effective way.”
Japan has struggled with labour shortage issues for more than a decade. The situations in outlying regions are worse. “More factories are located in rural areas, where they have been suffering from depopulation and salaries are relatively lower,” Iwamoto said. 
Meanwhile, at the summit, 126 teams from 23 countries are competing in four categories: industrial robotics, service robotics, disaster robotics and junior, which features entries by students.




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