Sushi Robot: Robotic Technology that Supports Food Culture – Suzumo Machinery Co., Ltd. –
JRM staff writer
The sushi robot (Fig. 1) developed in 1981 by Suzumo Machinery Co., Ltd., headquartered in Tokyo and founded in 1961, is the world’s first robot to form sushi rice balls (shari-tama). Hand-rolled sushi, a traditional Japanese dish invented during the Edo period (1603–1867), was originally expensive and served only on special occasions made by sushi chefs who had undergone long years of training.
The sushi robot broke the convention of requiring experienced sushi chefs by automating sushi making and enabling those who were comparatively unskilled to make sushi. It cut labor costs,1 which were higher than those for other types of food services, and helped make sushi more accessible to the general public. Sushi robots are now widely used, e.g., in supermarkets and conveyor-belt sushi restaurants, making it possible for anyone to serve sushi economically.
-  Insight of Top Management, Vol.81.
-  Nikkei Shimbun, November 8, 2013.
-  Suzumo Machinery Co. Ltd.
http://www.suzumo.co.jp/products/rolledsushi/ [Accessed March 24, 2014]
-  Shinkokigyo Navi (emerging company navigator), Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun, January 24, 2014.