March 11, 2021
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Japan Machinery Federation (JMF) selected the winners of the Ninth Robot Awards program, which was held 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). METI honored FANUC Corporation with the METI Minister’s Award for its robot titled “Collaborative Robot CRX.”
The Robot Awards program is an initiative aiming to facilitate the development of robot technologies and the public implementation of robots in Japan. The first program was held in FY2006. As the program has been held once every two years since FY2008, this year’s program is the ninth one. This program will recognize outstanding companies and other organizations engaging in research and development of state-of-the-art robots which are expected to significantly contribute to creating new markets in the future.
2. Results of the examination
From among the 131 applicants that applied for the Ninth Robot Awards program during the period of the call from April 7 to August 31, 2020, an examination committee, chaired by Dr. Asama Hajime, professor, the University of Tokyo, and a special committee, chaired by Dr. Kawamura Sadao, professor, Ritsumeikan University, selected the award-winning robots for the Ninth Robot Awards program as shown in the Appendix. METI selected “Collaborative Robot CRX” developed by FANUC Corporation as the winner of the METI Minister’s Award.
Reference: For details of the award-winning robots and other details of the past Robot Awards programs, including the ninth one, visit the website below.
METI Minister’s Award
Title:Collaborative Robot CRX
Outline:Upholding the theme “safe, easy-to-use and unbreakable robots,” the company achieved the Collaborative Robot CRX which delivers a touch-stop safety function that uses built-in sensors, a “direct teaching” mode in which users are able to directly operate the arm, and an intuitively-operable programing mode by which users are able to use a tablet to drag and drop icons to operate the arm.
Reasons for the selection:
The committees appraised the robot in dramatically improved user friendliness and safety compared with conventional industrial robots. Specifically, the committees recognized the robot for [i] the direct teaching mode in which users are able to directly operate the arm and the programing mode by which users are able to intuitively operate the arm through simply dragging and dropping icons shown on the tablet screen, and [ii] the capacity to safely stop the arm by using uniquely-developed sensors, which are embedded in the respective axes of the arm, which responds to contact of a very light touch, not to mention a strong impact.
Based on these points, the committees appraised the arm as an outstanding product with the potential of lowering the barriers for companies in terms of the introduction of robots. They also expect the arm to encourage companies which are not familiar with robots to introduce them.
3. Commendation ceremony
In the past programs, the organizers held commendation ceremonies with all winners in attendance. However, the FY2020 commendation ceremony will be held in a series of individual events for each category of the awards, in order to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Division in Charge
Robotics Policy Office, Manufacturing Industries Bureau