Workshop on the Social Impacts of Robotics
Mitchell Hutchins Inc.
Government programs which could be useful in the future would be in the area such as aiding R&D expenditures through either tax credits or government funds being made available for basic research.
We believe government aid to the users would be more beneficial to robot manufacturers. could take the form of:
Helping companies afford the introduction of robotics into their production
Establishing some sort of showcase, perhaps a national demonstration program, to provide inspirational leadership and develop a cogent policy for manufac- turing techniques.
believe that manufacturers’ ability is ultimately related to their cash
to afford robots and other aspects
of factory automa- growth, reasonable
levels of interest rates and controlled inflation as well as investment incentives would typify the ideal environment for their investment in automated equipment.
government tax policies companies in general to
it’s important to note that the introduction of robots into the manufacturing pro-
cess essentially breaks the shackles as to how things are done.
This implies an important
of risk for companies to implement companies in this country.
It appears that government incentives could be exceptionally useful in helping smaller com- panies absorb the technological risk of introducing automated equipment. The Japanese govern- ment, through the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MITI), has adopted programs addressing this issue in line with the decision that robot production is a major strategic industry for Japan’s future:
MITI has permitted manufacturers who install robots to depreciate an additional 121/2% of the purchase price in the first year.
MITI has arranged for direct government, low interest loans to small and medium scale manufacturers to encourage various type of robot installations.
MITI has helped encourage the founding of a robot leasing company --Japan Robot Lease. The objective is to support robot installations by small and medium scale manufacturers.
We believe it would be advantageous for U.S. policy to consider following the lead of the
Japanese. spread of
We also believe that the U.S. government automated techniques throughout industry.
could consider programs to help foster Heretofore, the Japanese have led the
with the Japanese Automated Factory Project sponsored by the Agency of
Technology of advances into
initiated in 1977,
aims to help take long-term goal of
Industrial Science and existing technological unmanned manufacturing.