Data Science Investment Counter —Funding raised by UK data science companies in 2018.
£ 5.640 Million

Japan’s most valuable tech startup promises ‘robots for everyone’ in 5 years

Everyone will have a household robot helping with all sorts of chores at home within five years, predicted Toru Nishikawa, 35-year-old founder CEO of Preferred Networks, one of the biggest tech start-ups in Japan.

“We want to bring such robots to the market within five years and see them being used. Ten years is too long to wait,” Nishikawa told the Nikkei Asian Review. “There is demand. The challenge is how to make personal robots available at affordable prices.”

In October this year at Ceatec, a Japanese consumer electrics show, Preferred Networks showed off an autonomous robot capable of tidying up a room, picking up clothes, toys and slippers. Customers will be able to give the robot an order and it will follow it immediately, stopping only when everything is tidy and in the right place.

The robot uses machine learning to analyse a large number of images of objects being grabbed, then reproduces the motions when it needs to grab specific items.

If they manage to secure the sufficient funding, Nishikawa believes he can get robots like these in the hands of consumers in five years.

According to an estimate by Bloomberg  Preferred Networks is currently valued at $2 billion. Their reputation as an AI-focused company is solid and they have recently partnered with Panasonic and Toyota, working with autonomous car technology.

“We are not going to be just providing AI technology,” Nishikawa said. “We will provide solutions by combining AI and robotics. That’s where we want to go.”


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