Robots help tackle Japan’s labour shortage


  • Business Premium
  • Monday, 06 Jul 2015

A humanoid robot works side by side with employees in the assembly line at a factory of Glory Ltd., a manufacturer of automatic change dispensers, in Kazo, north of Tokyo, Japan, July 1, 2015. Japanese firms are ramping up spending on robotics and automation, responding at last to premier Shinzo Abes efforts to stimulate the economy and end two decades of stagnation and deflation. Picture taken July 1, 2015. REUTERS/Issei Kato

TOKYO: Factory worker Satomi Iwata has new co-workers, a troupe of humanoid automata that are helping to address two of Japan’s most pressing concerns - a shortage of labour and a need for growth.

The 19 robots, which cost her employer Glory Ltd about 7.4 million yen (US$60,000) each, have eye-like sensors and two arms that assemble made-to-order change dispensers alongside their human colleagues in a factory employing 370.

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