Report of a lecture by Mr Koh Kikuchi, Chairman of Yaskawa Electric Corporation of Japan, which reviews the development of mechatronics by Yaskawa. It traces the history of the company in its involvement with robotics from the first simple single‐function hand in the 1960s to the latest supermechatronic robots used in semiconductor manufacture. Details are given of two new robots designed for operation in clean rooms down to Class 1. An account is also given of the activities of Yaskawa’s UK company which, in common with the majority of Yaskawa’s overseas operations, started as a joint venture partnership. The lecture concluded with a plea to encourage international co‐operation to solve the current global problems, particularly the effect of manufacturing on the environment.
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