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App. B—Commissioned Background Papers

Daiwa Securities America Inc.

Page -15-

robots initially for their own needs-Sailor Pen, Pentel, Pilot in the pen and pencil industry, Okamura in the furniture industry,Tokico in the compressor industry. Many companies developed robots to sell their own products -Aida, Japan leading press manufacturer , developed a series of loading and unloading robots for its presses. Fujitsu Fanuc developed a series of robots to service their N. C. machines. In turn, Fanuc’s competitors developed robots to stay in competition with Fanuc while Fanuc in turn developed an assembly robot to help reduce the costs

of producing its robots.

In some cases companies developed robots for

affiliates. Robot” , a understood

That Mitsubishi Electric should develop a fixed sequence machine for high buildings, when we know that its sister, Mitsubishi

“Window Cleaning can be better Estate, owns many

of the tall buildings in Tokyo’s Wall Street. This automatic cleaning operation, reduced maintenance cost, eliminated dangerous work, pro- vided better cleaning, and protected “privacy in offices, hotels, and

other places”.

Tovoda Machine Work s provided welding

for for

Toyota.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries provided robots

Mitsubishi

Motors,

its

automobile

making

subsidiary.

and handling robots originally just

Because the robots were used within their own factories, the robot makers in Japan offered for sale not just robots but total systems which already had been tested for several years in their own factories. This compelled companies that had originally just produced robots to begin to develop total systems. One example of this is a completely unmanned computer-run dry noodle factory-which includes an automatic warehouse, battery-operated cars, loading and unloading robots, automatic manu- facturing and inspection, and packing.

GOVERNMENT POLICY

It is quite evident that MITI has been interested in robots since the beginning of the seventies. It would seem unlikely that JIRA would have been formed without some government encouragement. However, it was not until 1978 that the industrial robot was officially designated as an “experimental research promotion product” and as a “rationalization pro- motion product” with promulgation of the special Machine Information Industry Promotion Extraordinary Measures Act. While the Electric Machinery Law in 1971 had defined an industrial robot, industrial robot terminology was first standardized in 1979 under the Japanese Industrial Standards.

Following the typical policy of cooperative rather than adversary relations with business, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MITI) , having identified robot production as a major strategic industry for Japan’s future, undertook several measures to popularize their utilization.

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