36 . Exploratory workshop on (the Social Impacts of Robot/es
Daiwa Securities America Inc.
promising because of the wide divergence of labor and robot costs. Before the 1973 “Oil Shock”, Japanese labor costs were still relatively inexpensive
while industrial robots were still high-priced because of the
low level of labor costs
rose sharply in Japan.
all types at first declined simpler and less electronic
from 1970-1975. “robots” rose,
cost of industrial robots of After 1975, the price of the but the “semiconductor revolution”
in Japan continued to reduce The following table based on
the cost of the more sophisticated a JIRA survey is revealing.
Ratio of Robot Costs to Labor Costs (Unit - Y 1000)
Labor Cost Per Man Average Price -- Robot
(Japanese definition) cost -- Playback Robot
Ratio B/A Ratio C/A
The decline of robot costs relative to labor costs is especially sharp in
resulted in a slower rate of amortization. expected to increase 6 - 7% annually while microprocessor prices, should remain level
In the future, labor costs are robot costs, thanks to declining
the field of sophisticated robots.
Superficially, a playback robot can be
years on a maintenance
amortized within four years on a single shift and within
In a questionnaire distributed by JIRA on the motives for installing
industrial as follows:
robots in the future, the responses in order of importance
universalization of production systems,
(4) stable product quality, and
Hence, the economic advantage of the industrial robot over human labor which seems certain to grow in the future is considered the most important factor in the increased application of industrial robots.