50th Anniversary Video01
Completion of Japan's first domestically manufactured industrial robot, the “Kawasaki-Unimate 2000”
In 1969, the first “Kawasaki-Unimate 2000” robot, Japan's first ever domestically manufactured industrial robot, rolled off the production line at Kawasaki's Akashi Works. It was a period of rapid economic growth in Japan and news of a robot that could provide relief for labor shortage evoked a very positive response from society. In its earliest years, this robot was implemented mainly in the automobile industry. This is where the history of industrial robots in Japan began.
50th Anniversary Video02
Launching of the small electrically-driven robot, the “PUMA”
Kawasaki's first small electrically-driven robot, the “PUMA”, was launched in 1981. The 1980s saw traditional hydraulic-powered robots being replaced with electrically-driven robots. The PUMA was programmed using VAL (Variable Assembly Language) and extended the range of applications to include tasks such as handling, assembly, painting, inspection, and palletizing.
50th Anniversary Video03
Success of the large payload electrically-driven robot, the “EX100”
In 1986, the “EX100”, a large payload electrically-driven robot, was developed and launched. This robot was widely implemented by major car manufacturers for its spot welding abilities, making it a bestselling robot. With Japanese car manufacturers expanding their business overseas, an opportunity was created to have this robot work not only in factories in Japan, but also on the floors of overseas factories as well.
50th Anniversary Video04
Kawasaki steps into the cleanroom robot market with launch of the "TS/TL series"
The “TS series” robots, built for handling semiconductor wafers, and the “TL series” robots for handling liquid crystal glass substrates, are two vertical telescopic SCARA robots launched by Kawasaki in 1997. As the semiconductor and liquid crystal panel industries showed remarkable growth in the 1990s, Kawasaki started a full-scale operation into the cleanroom robot market with the introduction of the TS/TL series robots.
50th Anniversary Video05
Launching of the “NS series”, cleanroom robots for semiconductor manufacturing
The “NS series” robots, clean robots for use in semiconductor manufacturing, were launched in 2000. Robots from this series owe their success in Japan to their high performance and reliability, and the market reaction from the United States has similarly been positive as well. The NS series robots helped solidify Kawasaki's position as the global market leader of semiconductor wafer handling robot manufacturers.
50th Anniversary Video06
Launching of the “B series”, large general-purpose robots for spot welding
In 2011, the large general-purpose robots of the "B series" were launched. Originally developed to improve efficiency in automobile spot welding applications, the B series robots have through-arm cable routing, which helps reduce interference with adjacent robots and allows for installation in “high-density” applications. The versatility found in the B series robots make it a popular choice in factories for other purposes as well such as parts handling and assembly.
50th Anniversary Video07
Launching of the “CP series”, high-speed palletizing robots
The “CP series”—powerful, high-speed palletizing robots—was launched in 2015. With a wide range of payload options from 180 kg to 700 kg, these robots are ideal for handling heavy goods. Their wide working envelope and high payload capabilities have made them major contributors in speeding up logistics in a variety of industries.
50th Anniversary Video08
Launching of the “duAro”, a collaborative Dual-Arm SCARA robot
The Dual-Arm SCARA robot "duAro" first made its debut in 2015. The duAro is a collaborative robot with two arms that can work alongside humans without the need for safety barriers. Launched as a solution to extend the scope of robotic applications, it has since been operating in a multitude of industries including the electrical and electronics industry, as well as the food industry.
50th Anniversary Video09
Kawasaki opens its “Kawasaki Robostage” robot showroom in Odaiba, Tokyo
“Kawasaki Robostage”, Kawasaki's very own robot showroom, opened its doors to the general public in Odaiba, Tokyo in 2016. This free-admission showroom requires no advanced booking and features displays of Kawasaki Robots including duAro, the dual-arm SCARA robot, large payload robots and cleanroom robots. It offers visitors a chance to see, feel, and experience industrial robots they would otherwise not normally come into contact with.
50th Anniversary Video10
Launching of the “RS007”, small general-purpose robots
In 2017, Kawasaki introduced two small general-purpose robots, the “RS007N” and the “RS007L”. At the International Robot Exhibition 2017 (iREX2017), a demonstration using the industry's smallest and lightest “F Controller” was put on to showcase their fast operating speeds. These robots are equipped with a new overdrive mode, making them the fastest robots in their class. Additionally, their slim bodies and expanded work envelope have allowed them to broaden their fields of application.
50th Anniversary Video11
Introduction of the “Successor”, a solution for fields struggling with robotization
“Successor” is a new robot system that was launched in 2017. Successor allows robots to reproduce the movements of an operator through a remote control device. By converting them into automated operations or by using AI technology to learn through repetition, robots will be able to reproduce delicate movements normally requiring fine adjustment from experienced workers. The launch of Successor increases the potential for applying robots into fields where robotization has been difficult thus far.
50th Anniversary Video12
Industry and academia come together to co-develop humanoid robots that can "survive toppling over"
A humanoid robot was unveiled at the International Robot Exhibition 2017 (iREX2017). Building on the wealth of experience and knowledge as a manufacturer of industrial robots where being robust and reliable is a given, Kawasaki is working on a strong, durable body in a co-development effort with the University of Tokyo. Kawasaki aims to accelerate research and development through open innovation by providing humanoid robots to serve as a development platform for researchers and collaborating with experts in diverse fields.