Are Japanese robots losing their edge to Silicon Valley?

©Reuters Helping hand: robots can assist at work and in the home and even interpret human emotions When robots were called into service at the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant after the 2011 tsunami, they were not ones made in Japan. Instead, machines built by US company iRobot to operate in minefields in Afghanistan and Iraq had to be used. It was a clear illustration of how, despite the country’s longstanding prowess in robotics, Japanese leadership in the field is no longer a given. More adaptable machines developed for difficult environments are coming to the fore. Even more significantly, machine learning and other techniques of artificial intelligence (AI) are becoming paramount as robots learn to respond to and interact with humans. More On this story On this topic IN Japan…

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