IEEE ICMA 2012 Conference
Plenary Talk 2

Have Japanese robots a bright future?

Kazuhito Yokoi, Ph.D.
Deputy Director
Intelligent Systems Research Institute (IS)
National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Japan
1-1-1 Umezono, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8568, JAPAN
E-mail: Kazuhito.Yokoi@aist.go.jp

As Japan is an international leader in robotics technologies, expectations are high that through the efficient use of robotics technologies issues such as the declining birthrate, growing proportion of elderly people, a shrinking labor force, intensified international competition, insecure feelings about large-scale disasters, etc. can be addressed. In a strategy initiative for Japanese industries, called " Industrial Structure Vision 2010," reported by The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI for short), an advanced robotics is expected as one of five strategic areas that will empower Japan’s industries through innovation and an open attitude. In this talk, some ongoing challenges to create a new robot business are presented.

Kazuhito Yokoi received his B. E. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Nagoya Institute of Technology in 1984, and the M. E. and Ph. D. degrees Mechanical Engineering Science from the Tokyo Institute of Technology 1986 and 1994, respectively.

In 1986, he joined the Mechanical Engineering Laboratory, Ministry of International Trade and Industry. He is currently a deputy director of Intelligent Systems Research Institute (IS), National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), at Tsukuba, Japan. He is also the leader of Humanoid Research Group, IS/AIST and an adjunctive professor of Cooperative Graduate School at University of Tsukuba. From November 1994 to October 1995, he was a Visiting Scholar at Robotics Laboratory, Computer Science Department, Stanford University. His research interests include humanoids, human-centered robotics, and intelligent robot systems.

The Robotics Society of Japan The Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers Japan Society for Precision Engineering The Society of Instrument and Control Engineers Harbin Engineering University University of Electro-Communications University of Electronic Science and Technology of China Changchun University of Science and Technology