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my trip to japan to learn about robots

I am so lucky to have Kawasaki Robotics as a vendor for my robots. I have seen many robots but the ones that appeared to be the oldest and longest running were the Kawasaki robots. 

After Kawasaki reviewed my company to determine if we were worthy of carrying their products, they sent us to Japan to learn the truth about how robots are made and to learn the history of a company that is more than robots and has been building machines since 1878. What I saw and will always remember is an inspiring country that is very friendly, immaculately clean and filled with people who are serious about life. 

Welcome to Japan: A beautiful country full of wonderful people


The view from our hotel

The 2017 Robot show is being held in Tokyo at the Tokyo Big Site convention center.


The lobby of Tokyo Big Site

Tomorrow is the big start of the International Robot Exhibition


Beautiful Tokyo by the Sea

You can ride trains anywhere in Japan. Trains and Buses are everywhere. Here is a shot as we ride a train from the Haneda Airport to our hotel


Wandering around Tokyo

There are temples all over downtown and this lion was part of one.


A tile in the sidewalk

Ancient Japan when a fire breaks out. People are carrying buckets of water. 


Back again getting ready for the show

We are waiting in the hallway for the International Robot Exhibition to start


Wandering around Tokyo

There are many beautiful architectural wonders such as this bridge entrance. Architectural wonders are everywhere in the building style.


View from the train

Odaiba park is under water but it rains a lot in Tokyo and I suspect we just missed a storm when we arrived.


Reminders to behave

No trash, no graffiti, signs like these detail requirements that are obvious to the Japanese. There is a hilarious red cloud over the head of the ones who are annoyed. That is so Japanese.


Wandering around Tokyo

During the day downtown is a calm, clean area. We are on one of the overpasses afforded to pedestrians to keep them safe from cars.


Train station in Tokyo

Trains and buses go all over Tokyo. Here we are waiting at a train station to go shopping.


Areas to relax

No trash, no graffiti, well kept public areas. Tokyo is a great city for walking and the parks and promenades are kept immaculate.


Gundham at Diver City in Tokyo

Just up the sidewalk from our Hotel is this tribute to Anime 


Looking east on the promenade 

Our hotel is just behind Chris’ head in this picture of a large park. Tokyo is such a clean and friendly place.


Tokyo Coliseum from our Hotel

Lack of time kept me from attending Sumo wrestling at the coliseum. 


Executive meeting with Kawasaki

The future of automation is  robotics. Here we saw the most important people in the company. Kawasaki promotes from within so they all know robots well. 


Making great friends in Tokyo

Chris doing what she does best, making me look better than ever


The smartest people I know

These are the people I traveled to Japan with. These are some the smartest people I ever met.

Welcome to Japan: The future of automation is robotics


The Kawasaki Exhibit

We had a lot of fun at the robot show. Here is an automated paint booth for Kawasaki motorcycle parts.


Kawasaki Kaleido Humanoid Robot 

There are more efficient ways to build robots but we expect them to look Human if they are to be accepted. 


Always finding Treats

I lost Chris for a minute and guess where I found her? If you know her, you would say it does not surprise you.


The Kawasaki Exhibit

Kawasaki Unimate robot is probably the first actual robot. It is hydraulic.


Kawasaki Palletizing

EOAT (End of Arm Tooling) can be complex because of the great capacity of these robotic arms.


Kawasaki Duaro

Imagine the torso of your body, these robots simulate your arms


Other Exhibits

This toilet raises and lowers, tilts and sprays. You do not even need arms to use this toilet.


Useful Robotics

This is one of the gadgets I have dreamed of since beginning my automation career.


Agricultural Robotics

This machine puts rice seedlings into the dirt. The video of this working is amazing. It does not require a tractor and runs all day and night


New employees

Making gift baskets using an ABB Yumi and a Kawasaki duAro. Yumi opens bags of tomatoes for duAro to put in a basket.


Mobile Platforms

These mobile trucks can go pick up something around 50lbs and bring it to you. They can work together, too.


Muscle Assist 

These visitors are being fitted with a harness to enhance muscles for jobs requiring lifting objects.


Kawasaki Medicaroid Table

Designed for operating rooms, this table moves the patient around the room so you can build better hospitals.


Translating Robotics

The man sitting is operating a set of arms on the torso if the robot. Useful for research or hazards.


Small tank with robotic arm

This company makes autonomous mobile platforms from small to large. Note the Kawasaki robot on the large one.  

Welcome to Japan: Travel to the Kawasaki Robotics factory


Waiting on the bus to KRI

Kawasaki Robotics treated us to a visit to their factory and other treats.


Somehow we made it to Akashi

We took a plane then a bus then a bullet train then another bus and eventually ended up in the Kawasaki Heavy Industries Plant in Akashi 


Waiting on the bus to Kawasaki Plant

Our team of integrators at Kobe Airport I think. Kobe Japan; famous for food, Mt. Fuji and Kawasaki Robots.


Akashi Plant orientation

Kawasaki Robotics getting us ready for a tour of the Akashi KRI Heavy Industries plant. 


Driving through the Akashi KRI plant

We had a great tour guide and had to wear blue hats so they could find us. Not allowed to show plant images, sorry!


The largest robot in the world

Our team of integrators with our managers in front of a Kawasaki MG robot with a couple of tons of tooling.


Impressive Kawasaki HQ Museum

Kawasaki is also known for their motorcycles. I have a KLR-650 that I love to ride in the mountains here in California.


Kawasaki Green on a utility vehicle

Kawasaki makes ships, helicopters, vehicles, motorcycles, robots and more. What a great company to represent.


The gathering of Integrators

All of us were inspired by what we saw. Human ingenuity at a level most people cannot understand.


Impressive Kawasaki HQ Museum

Here is our tour guide for the Kawasaki Robotics and Motorcycle plant in Japan


Kawasaki Jet Engine

Our team of integrators with our managers in front of a Kawasaki MG robot with a couple of tons of tooling.


Time for dinner

Our hosts did a great job of entertaining us throughout the trip.


Mt Fuji last chance to get supplies

Our bus let us off here on the side of a mountain. It was beautiful but overcast.


Mt. Fuji 5th station

Everywhere we go there is a place where you can pray. Even up here.


Mount Fuji 5th Station

A sculpture of mountaineers at the base of Mt. Fuji 5th station. It was a great place to visit.


Trip to Hakone

Japan is rich in history and Lake Ashinoko (Ashi, Ashinoki) has these replica pirate ships to travel on


A boat cruise on lake Ashinoko

Great fun on these replica pirate ships. The lake is runoff from Mt. Fuji.


Owakudani Area

Kawasaki Robotics treated our group to a bus trip into the Owakudani hot springs area


Owakudani Area hot sulfur springs

Japan is rich in history and this area must have been full of people back in the old days.


Owakudani Area

We visited an astonishing area where all sorts of hot springs and mining was occurring


Dinner in Akashi

Kawasaki Robotics treated our group to an excellent dinner in Akashi after showing us the history of Japan


While in Kobe, we had Kobe Beef

Another Kawasaki sponsored meal, this time in Kobe where we had a memorable dinner.


Traditional meal in Kobe

In America we call this a family style meal. It was so good and I thank Kawasaki for the treat.


Goodbye Japan

Waiting at the Airport to fly back home.

BTS designs and builds automation solutions using robots
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