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40 . Exploratory workshop on the Social Impacts of Robotics

Daiwa Securities America Inc.

Page -14-

The Japanese are currently debating the future of this structure of

robot within

makers. Some expect no the foreseeable future.

radical change in They believe that

the the

industry

structure

small to

medium

enterprises

will

continue

to

carve

out

markets

for

themselves

in

the

many

specialized puters and

areas. Others visualizing the intelligent robots expect that

increasing role of the large electric

minicom- manufacturing

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

processing.

However, all makers are

their

specialty

area

for

applications

using the of other areas

‚óŹ

Kawasaki is the almost all areas

most active in of application.

this But

approach with its Unimates entering many other manufacturers are aspiring

to be “universal robot makers”.

oriented universal robot maker intelligent assembly robots.

The emergence

depends

on

the

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

each year.

In the U.S. , despite the many new

field,

companies

actually

manufacturing

robots

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

share share

of of

18% in units. Because Kawasaki in value is

probably in Japan

somewhat resemble

higher. In many respects the production of robots the fierce competition that grew up among manufacturers

of television sets, digital watches,

tape

recorders.

After

a

period

of

desk and hand calculators intense competition among

and many

video- firms,

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”.

puts

it:

one

more

“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.

But

of

the

seventies

the

major

manufacturers

in now

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

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