Will Doraemon come in future?

TECHNOLOGY TRENDSJAPAN

TS

5/29/20234 min read

Will Doraemon be realized within 5 years in Japan?
Will Doraemon be realized within 5 years in Japan?

Since its debut in the late 1960s, Doraemon, the robotic cat from the future, has been an iconic character in Japanese pop culture.

Even today, people still wonder if and when a real-life Doraemon might make an appearance.

While we may not have a perfect Doraemon replica just yet, the strides Japan has made in robotics and automation suggest that a future with Doraemon-like robots could be closer than we think.

Japan, a nation known for its technological advancements and

innovative spirit is experiencing a significant shift toward automation and robotics.

The drivers behind this change are manifold, including an aging population, labor shortages, and societal changes that have made it imperative for Japanese companies to

streamline their operations and remain competitive.

Doraemon, the robotic cat from the future
Doraemon, the robotic cat from the future

Historical Background of Robotics in Japan

Japan's interest in automation began in the 1960s when the government launched the Monozukuri or manufacturing revival campaign.

This campaign aimed to modernize Japan’s manufacturing sector and promote economic growth.

Fast forward to the present, and Japan remains a leader in automation and robotics with the highest density of robots per manufacturing employee globally.

The Evolution of Society and the Role of Robotics

Japan’s demographic challenges are unique.

A declining birth rate and a rapidly aging population are putting pressure on various sectors of society.

Interestingly, this is where robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) come into play, especially in the realm of elder care.

Automated delivery robots, for example, are being developed and introduced to address labor shortages in the logistics industry.

These robots have been allowed to operate on public roads since April 2023, illustrating the practical ways in which automation is being integrated into everyday life.

Robots, AI, and a Response to an Aging Population

With a societal shift towards fewer children and an increasingly aging population, robots designed to care for the elderly are in high demand.

As Japan continues to innovate and invest in automation and robotics, it is poised to remain a leader in the industry and maintain its position as a global economic powerhouse.

This includes the development of AI and robotics in the healthcare sector, where robots are used to assist with daily care and provide companionship for the elderly.

The government's investment in initiatives like Society 5.0 aims to create a society that integrates digital technology and human capabilities, furthering the development of supportive technologies such as these.

LOVOT, an emotional robot
LOVOT, an emotional robot

Are there any robots similar to Doraemon in real life?

In the realm of personal robotics, Japan has made significant strides as well.

LOVOT, an emotional robot developed by Groove X, is one such example.

Designed to foster emotional connections with humans, LOVOT utilizes a variety of sensors, machine learning technology, and high-performance mobility capabilities to interact with its surroundings and respond to its owner's actions in real-time.

The Evolution of Society and the Role of Robotics
The Evolution of Society and the Role of Robotics

The Tesla Bot: A Step Closer to the Doraemon?

How about the world outside Japan?

Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, unveiled the project at Tesla's AI Day.

The “Tesla Bot” is intended to handle tasks that are dangerous, repetitive, or boring, and it is expected to use many of the same tools and technologies developed for Tesla's self-driving cars.

Robots in Japan's daily life: Uber Eats

Uber Eats has launched robot deliveries in a small part of the city, showcasing a significant leap forward in integrating robotics into daily business operations.

This innovative move, aimed at addressing labor shortages, utilizes self-driving robots that navigate the streets to deliver meals.

Developed in collaboration with Mitsubishi Electric and U.S. startup Cartken, these robots represent a new era of convenience and efficiency in food delivery.

Initially, they're rolling out in the bustling Nihonbashi district, offering a glimpse into the future of urban logistics.

This initiative not only enhances customer experience but also opens discussions on the broader implications for the workforce and urban mobility.

A fascinating development for business professionals to watch!

Figure 01: The Future of Humanoid Robotics with OpenAI

The latest advancement in robotics comes from a collaboration between Figure and OpenAI, resulting in the Figure 01 humanoid robot capable of real-time conversations and responding to requests.

This development is highlighted by Figure's rapid progress, assembling a team from notable organizations like Boston Dynamics, Tesla, Google DeepMind, and Archer Aviation, aiming to create a commercially viable general-purpose humanoid robot.

The integration of OpenAI's large vision-language models and Figure's neural networks enables this robot to understand spoken words and translate them into actions, demonstrating a significant leap toward advanced humanoid robots.

Will Doraemon come in the future?

With rapid advancements in AI and robotics, one might wonder if beloved robotic characters might come to life within the next five years.

While Doraemon from the future might still be some way off (until the 22nd century?!), the future of automation and robotics in Japan certainly looks promising.

The development of collaborative robots or 'cobots' that work alongside human workers is one area of focus, improving efficiency and productivity while maintaining a safe working environment.

The journey to Doraemon is a long one, but Japan's commitment to innovation and advancement in robotics brings us closer to this dream than ever before.

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Timothy Sze
Timothy Sze

Timothy Sze is co-founder of ToAsia.biz with over 15 years of Enterprise IT project experience with Global companies especially Japan.

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