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Announcement of the Winners in the Eighth Robot Awards Program

METI to recognize and exhibit robots with the potential to contribute to future markets

October 12, 2018

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Japan Machinery Federation (JMF) held the Eighth Robot Awards in collaboration with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC), Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW), Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT). They hereby announce that METI and JMF selected the winners. An awards ceremony and a joint exhibition of the winning robots will be held as part of the World Robot Summit 2018 / Japan Robot Week 2018 event.

1. Outline

The Robot Awards program is an initiative for recognizing outstanding robots, aiming to facilitate the development of robot technologies and the utilization of robots. This program is the eighth since its inauguration in 2006.

After the Seventh Robot Awards program in 2016, METI and JMF started five new Minister’s Awards, namely the MIC, MEXT, MHLW, MAFF, and MLIT Minister’s Awards, in addition to the existing METI Award, to achieve the goal set in the New Robot Strategy decided by the Headquarters for Japan’s Economic Revitalization on February 10, 2015.

2. Results of the examination

From among the 161 applicants that applied for the Eighth Robot Awards program during the period of the call from April 23 to June 29, 2018, a special committee for the Eighth Robot Awards program, chaired by Dr. Sadao Kawamura, professor, Ritsumeikan University, examined and selected the robots for the awards, as shown in the Appendix.

From among these winners, a robot technology titled “ZDT (Zero Downtime)” developed by FANUC Corporation was selected as the winner of the program (METI Minister’s Award).

METI Minister’s Awards

photo

Title of robot: ZDT (Zero Down Time)
Winner: FANUC Corporation

Outline:
ZDT is an IoT technology which realizes a centralized management system of industrial robots operating in a factory. This technology networks those robots, collects data such as their mechanical condition and process status to a server, and comprehensively manages those robots. It also realizes preventive maintenance and prediction of failures so that the user factory can reduce downtime to zero.
This technology can monitor the conditions of mechanisms or systems of target robots and automatically send emails to user factories if it predicts a failure in the target robots. Thanks to the information provided, the operators monitoring the target robots can then inform relevant maintenance personnel and avoid excess downtime.

Reasons for the selection:
The committee highly praised the winner for its achievement of commercialization of the IoT system ahead of other countries, its creation of new customer value by introducing IoT into their products, and its achievement of creating a profitable business. Moreover, the committee praised the winning system for its contribution to solving challenges faced by the manufacturing industry including the shortage of maintenance workers and improving productivity, and also its use of big data collected from networked products to provide new business solutions. The winner demonstrated a new product and business model that effectively utilizes information communication technology. Thanks to these factors, the committee considered this product and business to be an outstanding achievement.

3. Awards ceremony and joint exhibition

An awards ceremony and a joint exhibition of winning robots of the Eighth Robot Awards Program will be held as part of the World Robot Summit 2018 / Japan Robot Week 2018 event, an exhibition scheduled to be held from October 17 to 21, 2018, at East Hall, Tokyo Big Sight (3-11-1 Ariake, Koto Ward, Tokyo) as follows.

Awards ceremony

Date and time: October 17 (Wed.), 2018; from 10:10 to 11:20 (tentative)
Venue: Main Stage, East Hall 6, Tokyo Big Sight

Joint exhibition of winning robots

Date and time: October 17 (Wed.) to 19 (Fri.), 2018; from 10:00 to 17:00
Venue: Booth for the Eighth Robot Awards, East Hall 6, Tokyo Big Sight

References

World Robot Summit 2018

Date and time: October 17 (Wed.) to 21 (Sun.), 2018; from 10:00 to 17:00
Venue: East Halls 6, 7 and 8, Tokyo Big Sight
Organizers: METI and the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO)

Japan Robot Week 2018
Date and time: October 17 (Wed.) to 19 (Fri.), 2018; from 10:00 to 17:00
Venue: East Hall 5, Tokyo Big Sight
Organizers: Japan Robot Association and the Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun Ltd.

Division in Charge

Robotics Policy Office, Industrial Machinery Division, Manufacturing Industries Bureau

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