Special Issue on Strategic Development of Advanced Robotics Elemental Technologies
Shigeoki Hirai, Fumi Seto, and Kazuhito Yokoi
The Strategic Development of Advanced Robotics Elemental Technologies (STARET), a METI (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry) project conducted under a 5-year plan starting in 2006, was a nonconventional, unique, mission-oriented effort concerning the stage gate system. METI’s technology development project R&D is usually pursued bottom up. It is where most advanced modern technologies are selected and developed for practical use. The STARET, however, has pursued development top down without selecting a specific technology. Potentially practical work is selected from the view of businesses using robots. The target here is defined as a mission in which robot systems are built combining optimum technologies. Practical work has focused on two manufacturing themes, three service field themes, and two special environment themes. These were selected for new ranges of purpose, new marketability, and a public nature. This special issue features STARET topics focusing on research outcomes of robot systems intended for practical use. Topics on practical technologies related to the above themes were sought, resulting in many papers from nonproject participants in addition to those from STARET participants. The regular standard was applied to the peer review and articles were chosen for originality. We expect this special issue will help speed up and promote the research and development of robots intended for practical use.
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