News Column

Softbank subsidiary develops operating system for robots

June 11, 2014

Japanese communications giant Softbank Corp.'s wholly owned subsidiary Asratec Corp. announced Wednesday it has developed an operating system for robots, that can control their movement flexibly by adapting to different situations.

As Softbank aims to bolster its robotics business, it injected 150 million yen into Asratec on Wednesday, bringing the robot operating system developer's capital to 160 million yen. The move follows Softbank announcing it will sell a humanoid robot that can sense people's emotions.

The robot software dubbed V-Sido OS can control robots without complicated programming, Asratec said, adding that various kinds of robots regardless of their size or shape can be moved flexibly with orders placed through smartphones and other devices.

By the end of this year, Asratec is planning to sell microcomputer boards that can keep robots on a stable posture and have them walk with two legs for less than 10,000 yen so customers can consider whether to use the company's operating system.

Asratec says there are not many manufacturers that can develop all the parts including operating systems, censors and motors on their own but that by using V-Sido, such companies can make robots faster at lower costs.

Wataru Yoshizaki, chief robot creator of Asratec, said V-Sido "can make the development of robots more efficient...I hope the product can help spur robot development in a wide range of areas."

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Source: Japan Economic Newswire

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