Science and Technology
IN MOST U.S. movies sci-fi robots typically represent a danger to humanity, and in some even come to rule the Earth above humans. In contrast, in films and Japanese manga creatures, robots are usually friendly, and empathic feelings. They are benevolent beings and even heroic. For example, in some series of animation, robots help mankind to save our planet with extraterrestrial threats. Most of the Japanese like the idea of a society in which robots take increasingly more important role in helping everyday life.
Is expected to pass Japan’s population of 127 million today to 103 by 2050. This forecast is optimistic about birth rates and immigration. This is an unprecedented population decline in the history of mankind and that is already affecting the economy.
Today Japan is the most populous country in the world of robots. Across the globe there are 1,000,056 industrial robots in operation counted by the International Federation of Robotics. Almost one third of these robots, 298,000 units are in Japan, 166,000 in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, and 336,000 in Europe. The industrial robotics market in 2008 handled more than 9,000 million euros, and 79% of this market is controlled by Japanese corporations, the largest is Kawasaki, well known in the West for its motorcycles than for its robots.
Years ago the issue was being debated that could mean that robots take jobs away from humans, thus increasing unemployment rates. In Japan, the irony is that the absence of humans are making it necessary for robots to replace them without the least affect the unemployment rate. The robots have become part of the country’s workforce. Toyota is the company worldwide which has more industrial robots in operation and is also the company that uses them more efficiently. The production lines at Toyota are the fastest in the world as their robots can build a car just in hours without human intervention.
Another type of robots that are beginning to fill a need people are the service robots. Japan faces a great shortage of nurses. One consequence of aging is that more and more people in hospitals and nursing homes. The lack of young people who can work assisting elders resolved with robots capable of helping a person to get out of bed and accompany her to the bathroom or frying an egg.
Defense, rescue, security and logistics are other areas in which service robots are gaining notoriety. There are already several cases in which the robots have been the heroes of a ransom, especially in cases of earthquakes.
Among industrial robots, service robots and home robots is estimated that a workforce of more than five million robots in Japan. By the end of the next decade will be more estimates say 30 million. Robots are increasingly present in our daily lives, not only in Japan but worldwide. They are here to make life easier and indirectly are changing the rules in society and the economy, like computers did in the second half of the twentieth century.