Electronics Trading Companies Venture in Robots

Electronics trading companies in Japan venture into the robot field as a new business. They have begun sales of products for the overseas market on full scale. Some trading companies have opened demo centers and started development of their own robot systems in collaboration with system integrators.

So far, trading companies handling factory automation (FA) systems, such as Ryoden Corp., Tachibana Eletech Co., Ltd., and Kanaden Corp., have been selling industrial robots.

Recently, other trading companies have started selling service robots and industrial robots. MACNICA, Inc., for one, has started business on service robots on full scale. It will participate in the 6th RoboDEX to be held in Tokyo from January 19 to 21, 2022. The company will exhibit the automated cleaning robot “Neo”, the telepresence and customized robot “Temi” equipped with autonomous driving, and the automated driving delivery service robot “Relay.”

Introduced to Nursing Care Facilities

Marubun Corporation has invested in U.S. company Aeolus Robotics, Inc., which develops and produces artificial intelligence (AI) service robots. It has started to sell the AI service robots of Aeolus Robotics to elderly care facilities, hotels, restaurants, and other service fields where 24-hour service and labor support are required. They have already been introduced to six elderly care facilities among the nursing homes belonging to Gakken Holdings, Ltd.

A demo room for the robots has been opened at Marubun Headquarters in Tokyo.

Demo room of Aeolus Robots opens at the head office of Marubun Corporation

Business Tie-up With System Integrators

NEXTY Electronics Corporation, the electronics trading company of Toyota Tsusho Corporation Group, has formed a capital and business alliance with Japan Support System, Ltd. (JSS). This aims to support the company’s entry in the robot system integrator business. JSS owns the largest robot system integrator business in northern Kanto region.

The company combines its global network and broad technological information on robotics and digital factory, with the wide range of knowledge possessed by JSS, to provide flexible system solutions that meet various needs of customers. It aims to help solve social issues by contributing to productivity improvement of manufacturers and creation of new businesses by customers.

Robot Center Development

Tokyo Electron Device, Ltd. (TED) has opened the Tokyo Electron Device Robot Center (TRC) at Tokyo Electron Device Engineering Center in Yokohama. In this facility, the vision robot system TriMath was developed and demonstrated. It was designed for picking and sorting irregular shaped objects. The facility started operation in June 2021.

Robot Center at Tokyo Electron Device, Ltd.

TriMath is a work-robot system that connects robots, hands, and system control. It operates based on optical equipment and the company’s original image processing and AI technology “TriMath Vision” at the core. TRC has prepared a “demo recipe” in which picking and sorting work for objects with irregular forms is performed with TriMath. A “TriMath Vision course” gives a brief explanation of the vision technology constituting the core of high-quality work automation.

Selling Collaborative Robots

Ryosan Company, Limited has started full-scale sales of collaborative robots as a new business. The company provides collaborative-robot solutions that include sales of peripheral devices and system integration services, mainly for products of Franka Emika GmbH (Germany) and SIASUN Robot & Automation Co., Ltd. of China.

Franka Emika is a venture company for collaborative robots founded in 2016 by people from Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR). DLR is a government agency responsible for space development and aviation and other related technologies in Germany. Siasun is a high-tech listed company belonging to the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the highest-level scientific and technological institution in China. It is working on collaborative robots, double-armed robots, automated guided vehicles and others.