Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) announced the winners of the "Robot Award 2008" Nov 21, 2008.
The awards were set up by the METI in 2006 with the aim of promoting R&D and use of robotics. In 2008, eight winners were selected from 65 applications.
In the category of industrial robots, Tokyo-based Denso Wave Inc's "XR-G" series small assembly conveyance robot and Yaskawa Electric Corp's "Motoman-CDL3000D" 10th-generation LCD glass substrate handling robot were granted the prize.
The "XR-G" series is a small assembly conveyance robot released in April 2008. Its operation speed was boosted by combining linear and revolving shafts. In addition, the company made it possible for work pieces to move the shortest possible distance by employing a ceiling-mounted structure. The robot is sold for use at factories of automobiles, electric and electronic products and engineering machines.
The "Motoman-CDL3000D" is a robot that carries glass substrates, which are becoming larger due to an effort to increase efficiency in LCD panel production. Employing Yaskawa's original "double-link column mechanism" to handle 3 x 3m 10th-generation glass substrates, the robot achieves the world's highest levels of speed and precision as well as stable transport.
In the other categories, the prize was awarded to the following six robots.
* The world's smallest two-legged toy robot "Omnibot17μi-sobot" (Tomy Co Ltd)
* The automatic page-turner "Book Time" (Nishizawa Electronic Measuring Instruments)
* A rice-transplanting robot (the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization)
* The robotics-based engineer training solution "ZMP e-nuvo" series (ZMP Inc)
* An active scope camera (Tohoku University and the International Rescue System Institute)
* An ultra-small MEMS 3-axial touch sensor chip (the University of Tokyo and Panasonic Corp)
The METI will select winners of the Grand Prize and the Small- to Medium-sized Venture Award from these eight robots and announce them at the awarding ceremony slated for Dec 18, 2008.