Japan chooses 2008's best robots (photo gallery)

Last year’s Grand Prize winning robot

There should be no doubt that Japan is the world’s leading nation when it comes to the production and promotion of robots of all kinds.

Each year, Nippon’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) chooses a handful of robots it thinks are especially cool and gives them the so-called Robot Award [JP]. The ministry yesterday announced the eight winners (chosen out of 65 applicants) of the “Robot Award 2008”.

Here are all winners:

Category: Service robots

Omnibot17µ i-sobot from Takara Tomy

“Booktime” from Nishizawa [JP], an automatic page turner (video)

Rice-transplanting robot from Japan’s National Agriculture and Food Research Organization

Robotics-based engineer training solution ZMP e-nuvo from ZMP (video)

Category: Industrial robots

Small assembly conveyance robot XR-G from Denso Wave

10th generation LCD glass substrate processing robot MOTOMAN-CDL 3000D from Yaskawa Electric

Category: Other robots and parts

Hose-shaped rescue robot from Tohoku University (more info here)

Ultra-small MEMS 3-axial touch sensor chip from the University of Tokyo and Panasonic

The METI will select winners of the Grand Prize and the Venture Award for SMEs from these robots and announce them December 18.