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Wed Apr 14, 2021, 07:26 AM

Japanese AI robots and the American union's last hurrah

On April 8, Japanese industrial conglomerate Hitachi Ltd announced that it had purchased 96% of the shares of Kyoto Robotics, a designer and producer of three-dimensional machine vision and AI (artificial intelligence) robot control systems.

Kyoto Robotics’ mission statement reads: “We believe that there will come a day when all manual labor in factories and warehouses can be completely replaced by automation using intelligent robots.”

Established in 2000, Kyoto Robotics specializes in 3D vision sensors, motion planning, robot arm and tool control and machine learning. Its technology emerged from research projects at Ritsumeikan University, a private university in Kyoto that is well known for science and engineering.

CEO Gang Xu was formerly a professor of computer science at Ritsumeikan, president of the Chinese Academy of Science and Engineering in Japan and a visiting researcher at the University of Tokyo, Harvard Robotics Lab, Motorola Australian Research Center and Microsoft Research China.

With an estimated 60% of the Japanese market, Kyoto Robotics is a world leader in 3D vision for bin-picking (pick & place) handling robots.


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