On December 1, 2021, Kawasaki Heavy Industries and the Sony Group started the business operation of “Remote Robotics Inc.”, which is a new joint venture in remote robotics platform business. The company aims to realize a remotely-connected society that enables every person to participate in society and plans to propose a new safe and secure work style through remote robotics platforms. We spoke to the company President and CEO Hirokazu Tanaka and Executive Vice President and COO Shogo Hasegawa about the future of Remote Robotics.
Remote Robotics Inc.
President and Representative Director
- 1998: Joined Sony Corporation
- 2005: Seconded to Sony Electronics Inc. (Returned in 2010)
- 2015: General Manager, Sensing Module Business Department, Digital Imaging Business Group, Sony Corporation
- 2016: General Manager, B2B Segment Business Division, Sony Imaging Products & Solutions Inc.
- 2021: General Manager, New Business Exploration Division, Sony Group Corporation
Remote Robotics Inc.
Executive Vice President and COO
- 1986: Joined Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd., Robot Business Division
- 2003: Seconded to Kawasaki Robotics GmbH in Germany (Returned in 2008)
- 2008: Manager of Application Technology Development Department (general industry, semiconductors, automobile body/painting) in Robot Business Division, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd.
The social problems tackled by Remote Robotics
President Tanaka:An issue we are currently facing is that in this coronavirus crisis, there are still many people who are unable to perform their work remotely.For the sake of those people, we believe that we will be able to contribute to the solution of social issues by offering robots, their remote operations and mechanisms to connect people and places of business.
Executive Vice President Hasegawa:That is particularly true for Japan. In Japan, there are calls for a solution to labor shortages, and it is estimated that the labor force will continue to shrink for several decades to come.
As President Tanaka has just said, the type of world we want to create is one where people who work in real workplaces are able to participate in labor force remotely, and one where people who could previously not get to a workplace can work as part of the labor force.
President Tanaka:As part of that, we will first offer a system for the operation and instruction of robots remotely. Another thing we want to offer is a mechanism for engagement, to connect a worker with a business.
What Remote Robotics will offer
Executive Vice President Hasegawa:In the platform that we offer, we first plan to offer a service to connect the robot systems of a business with workers in remote locations.
President Tanaka:When we build these remote mechanisms, not only will it no longer be necessary for a worker to actually go to a workplace, it will be possible to perform work in multiple workplaces remotely, so it will lead to the effective use of time. By introducing remote operation, the productivity will also improve in terms of time.
Executive Vice President Hasegawa:There are also workplaces that a worker cannot go to. It is not possible to utilize the knowledge and skills as a worker in those workplaces. We will connect those workplaces and people in a physically separated state. I think that our service will become useful if we realize that.
President Tanaka:What we want to value most in our services and mechanisms is the idea of working closely together with people. There are some areas where it is possible to introduce robots to advance complete automation.
However, when we think about it, the direction of heading towards full automation is actually the direction where people are no longer necessary. We want to work closely with people to place importance on the value created when people are performing the work.
“Aiming for a remotely-connected society where every person can participate in society”
President Tanaka:We intend to combine the technology and know-how in the Sony Group and Kawasaki in order to realize this view of the world we have described so far. However, it goes without saying that there are things that just our two companies alone cannot achieve.
Executive Vice President Hasegawa:In order to build the society and world that we are aiming for, we believe that it will be necessary for us to work together with many other people.
President Tanaka:Chance encounters, new discoveries and the value created from there. In order to value these things, it is important to have diversity.
Executive Vice President Hasegawa:We, Remote Robotics, want to work with various partners to create social reforms.
In a world where every person can participate in society, we believe that the jobs and the ways of working must not be trying and hard. They must be enjoyable.
We want to offer a platform where users of our services will be surprised how much fun work can be. I ask you all to work together with us so that we can propose new ways of working.
President Tanaka:Through Remote Robotics Inc., we want to firmly create the type of world where not only the office workers who are already working remotely, but every other person can also participate in society. Please have great expectations for the future activities of Remote Robotics, Inc.