Japanese conglomerate company Mitsubishi Electric has launched its first line of collaborative robots, as well as a dedicated programming software. The Melfa Assista robots are intended for use in general manufacturing and assembly, along with models specifically for medicine and food handling. The company has been developing industrial robots for decades; however, they only have a handful of published patents and applications in the collaborative robots sector already dominated by other Japanese corporations such as Fanuc and Panasonic. Mitsubishi emphasizes the collision detection abilities of their new products, facilitated by cameras and image processing techniques. The company has many patents in the autonomous vision and image recognition sector.
As a large corporation, Mitsubishi may choose to acquire technologies from other parties to continue developing smarter robots. Last year, the company invested in American startup Realtime Robotics and acquired Iconics, two companies specializing in industrial robotics and automation software respectively.