What do you think about when you think of innovative technology? Robots, intelligence, motors, artificial limbs? All of these ideas were present and displayed to us at the Yaskawa Electric Innovation Center. Originally it began as a motor company, which catered towards the coal mining industry, but as we saw it on our recent visit it has became a company on the forefront of innovative technology. Some of the company technologies focus on mechatronics, clean power, and humatronics.
(Timeline Wall of the company)
Mechatronics is basically a combination of electronics and industrial automation. Some examples include cable cars, AC units, dock cranes etc. Other examples which were shown to us include assembly robots (robots making robots), such as welding robots, dual arm robots, painting robots, picking and placing robots.
(Assembly robot with rubik’s cube)
(Same robot as above)
(Can be used as painting robot and controlled by motion sensitivity rod)
(Walking to the factory where we saw robots making robots, no pictures were allowed)
Another focus of the company was clean power, which is safe and secure living. The focus was to replace fossil fuels through electricity.
The third focus was humatronics, which helps people medically. Devices such as the re-walk or walking assistance unit, upper-limb rehabilitation device, and a sorting robot that could be used for daily medications.
(Robot used for sorting as shown through cards matching game)
(We won after four humans vs. one robot)
After our visit to the Yaskawa Electric Innovation Center we were pleasantly surprised by the innovation the company presented to us through its robotics. The hands on experience we gained from actually getting to test and play with the robots left a memorable effect on all of us. From this experience we learned about the importance of innovation and its continuation in our own lives and the rest of the world. The shared innovation of technology impacts not only the advancements of Japan and the US, but also humanity as a whole.