Japan’s Semiconductor Industry Leads in Robotics

Japan is still holding onto its decades-long grip on the electronics industry amidst South Korea and Taiwan’s rivalry. Its five tech titans manufacture 80% of all component-mounting robots. A diminutive 10 robots can compile 5000 smartphones daily, but this niche is slowing down. In 2015, the Japanese chip industry began looking towards the auto sector to sustain future growth. Today, it represents over half of all industrial robots sold.

New Robotics Market Growth

The sector is having to speed up its evolution as the need for more advanced semiconductor chips grows, a challenge that Japan is more than capable of meeting. Chip mounters must change to suit the auto industry, where component traceability is more important than speed and size. Safety concerns also need to be met, and records must be kept so that vehicle manufacturers can find production faults. Japan is also manufacturing robotic suits, cleaning robots, and translators, among other new technologies.

The United States Robotics Industry

The global robotics sector grew by a dramatic 12% in 2013. Japan aims to push its annual robotics revenue up to ¥2.4 trillion by 2020. Even so, the USA leads the fray in several semiconductor niches, including photolithography. The International Trade Commission emphasizes that both nations are desperately needed, but U.S. manufacture is stuttering anyway. The UK is fighting for market share, too. A disaster recovery robot was recently designed in Britain, and many hot robotics startups have been launched in Europe, capturing 6% of the market. Globally, robotics is expected to be worth $226 billion by 2021.

Japan entered the robotics industry in the Sixties. That’s a significant number of years with which to build a foundation, but its leadership is built less on history than on constant innovation. The nation is showing no sign of ending its reign. To celebrate Japan’s leadership in robotics, Tokyo will be hosting the Robot Olympics in 2020 alongside the Summer Olympic Games.

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