Why is Japan so much advanced in robotics?
Because Japan is obsessed with Robotics and robots. Japan carries out immense research on robots from Industrial robots to Domestic robots, rescue robots, Guard robots, security robots etc. In 1995 out of 700,000 Industrial Robots used worldwide 500,000 were used in Japan and in 2012 there were as many as 1,235,000 to 1500000 industrial robots in Japan and there is a reason for it.
The reason is Japan’s acute aging problem. According to 2014 estimates, 33.0% of the Japanese population is above age 60, 25.9% are aged 65 or above, 12.5% are aged 75 or above which means that when we do the math 71.4% of the Japanese population is above 60 which is not at all good for an economy like Japan. And given that the inflow of migrant workers in Japan is very less, Japan aims at replacing humans with Robots in its factories to the kitchens in restaurants. The Japanese labor market (Labor market of Japan) is already under pressure to meet demands for workers, with 125 jobs for every 100 Job seekers at the end of 2015, as older generations retire and younger ones shrink. The acute shortage of workers is prompting Japanese Companies to invest more and more in Robotics to make up for the deficit human labor, as the demand for more and more industrial or domestic robots is slated to grow at an exponential rate in the near future.
Also, experts say the roots of the national love of robotics are in Japan’s Shinto religion, which blurs the line between the inanimate and animate and in which followers believe that all things, including objects, can possess living spirits.
Beyond large humanoid robots or industrial ones, Japanese researchers have also created a number of consumer-friendly inventions made for fun or therapy, like pet seals and robot chef that can whip up pancakes. But no matter how clever or cuddly, even in Japan commercial robots have a serious flaw: their price. Consumers balk at their heavy price tags, which typically run into the thousands. Sony’s AIBO robotic dog, which cost $2,000 per pup, opened to much fanfare only to be cut in 2006, seven years after its introduction.
Aging problem and a good desirability factor for robots is the reason why Japanese companies are investing so heavily in robots and hence Japan is very advanced in Robotics.