According to the Japanese patent office, the number of applications worldwide for robot technologies between 1990 and 1999 by Japanese firms, including those for industrial use, totaled 14,500. That far exceeds the 1,900 of Europe and the 1,000 of the United States.
An official at the Japan Robot Association acknowledges that software programs used in robots are led by U.S. players. The software gives the robots communication ability and artificial intelligence. Japanese companies are working hard to be a leader in the software behind robotics as well as the hardware and engineering side of the house.
Globally, the use of robots is increasing. Orders for new factory robots rose 35% in North America and were up 25% in Europe – in both cases mostly for use in the auto industry.However, Japan still remains the world’s most robotized economy and is home to around half the 770,000 robots working in factories around the world. Last year 20,000 domestic-help robots were sold worldwide.