40 . Exploratory workshop on the Social Impacts of Robotics
Daiwa Securities America Inc.
The Japanese are currently debating the future of this structure of
makers. Some expect no the foreseeable future.
radical change in They believe that
specialized puters and
areas. Others visualizing the intelligent robots expect that
increasing role of the large electric
companies because of their superiority in IC and LSI technology, will dominate the robot industry. At present, each individual robot maker has its own area of special expertise such as Yaskawa in arc welding, Kobe Steel in large paint sprayers, Aida in press application, Fujitsu
Fanuc in machine tool technology developed in
However, all makers are
using the of other areas
Kawasaki is the almost all areas
most active in of application.
approach with its Unimates entering many other manufacturers are aspiring
to be “universal robot makers”.
oriented universal robot maker intelligent assembly robots.
of an electronically- rate of development of
Unlike the United States, where two robot makers hold over one half of the market share, the Japanese market is widely dispersed and changing
In the U.S. , despite the many new
companies entering the probably number less than
20 compared to about 140 in Japan.
Kawasaki Heavy Industries has only
3-4% of unit volume of all the more strict U.S. robot
Japanese robots (by Japanese definition) . By definition, Kawasaki produced 450 of the 3300
robots of its
made in Japan in relatively higher
1980 for a market price, the market
18% in units. Because Kawasaki in value is
probably in Japan
higher. In many respects the production of robots the fierce competition that grew up among manufacturers
of television sets, digital watches,
desk and hand calculators intense competition among
production ultimately was concentrated in a few large be noted that this period of competition also resulted ation in the world market for these products. As the
firms. It should in Japanese domin- spokesman for the
Lonq Term Credit Bank of Japan confidently of time before the industrial robot becomes which symbolizes Japan”.
“It is only a matter piece of merchandise
This industrial structure has given the Japanese several advantages. The American robot manufacturers must sell their robots to users; few can test their equipment in actual production conditions at their own plants.
With the entry of IBM, Texas Instruments,
robot market, this should be altered.
and Westinghouse into the Japan all through the decade emerging-Hitachi. Matsushita,
Toshiba-had been using robots within these companies. Furthermore, many other companies entered the robot field because they had developed