Press Release

NSK to Exhibit at iREX® 2013

Newly Developed Robots and Technology for Human-assistance Applications

Tokyo, Japan, November 5, 2013 – NSK Ltd. (NSK; Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan; President and CEO: Norio Otsuka) will exhibit at the International Robot Exhibition 2013,which is to be held at Tokyo Big Sight (Ariake, Koto-ku, Tokyo) from Wednesday, November 6 through Saturday, November 9, 2013.


The purpose of NSK attending this expo is to interact with related companies towards the mutual target of advancing robotic technology and to get feedback from many visitors. NSK is searching for new needs and seeds in the market pertaining to robot and sensor technology.

NSK is a participant in the Kanagawa Sagami Robot Industry Special Ward Robot Demonstration Support Business. The company will be exhibiting at its own booth and at the Kanagawa Pavilion.

Main Exhibits

Robots Obstacle Avoidance Guide Robots (first time to display this technology)
Portable Guide Robot with Automatic Obstacle Avoidance (first time to display this technology)
Sensor Technology Optical Kinesthetic Sensors (first time to display this technology)
Compact, High-Resolution Encoder Unit (first time to display this technology)
Proximity Sensor Technology*1
*1: Joint research with Professor Makoto Shimojo of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Intelligent Systems of the University of Electro-Communications
(1) Obstacle Avoidance Guide Robot
This product makes it possible for first-time visitors to arrive at their destination within a hospital or office building without getting lost. The user simply selects a preregistered destination and then the robot uses map and
(2) Optical Kinesthetic Sensor
Compared to the conventional strain gauge sensor, the optical sensor that NSK developed is non-contact and therefore does not break easily. It is also not very susceptible to temperature. NSK envisions its kinesthetic sensors to be used for the input interface of obstacle avoidance guide robots and other applications such as that of detecting the kinesthetic sense of industrial robots used in manufacturing lines.
(3) Compact, High-Resolution Encoder Unit
This sensor uses the polarizing-axis detection method and, compared to the conventional optical transmission sensors (minimum outer diameter 5 to 6 mm; 1,000 to 2000 pulses/revolution), it has a compact outer diameter of 6 mm and a highly precise level of detection, at 16,384 pulses per revolution. NSK envisions that its compact, high-resolution encoder unit will be used in the small joints of robots as well as precision measurement instruments and semiconductor manufacturing equipment.
(4) Proximity Sensor
This kind of sensor works by emitting LED light and then confirming the presence of objects and the distance to any such object by the light that is reflected back.Multiple elements are arranged in linear fashion to obtain the distance to objects and the center position thereof in real time.

NSK developed this technology for application to obstacle avoidance for human-assistance robots. The major benefit of this sensor is that it can obtain multiple sensor element information with little wiring for a detection speed that achieves a response time of 1 millisecond or faster, eliminating the need for emergency avoidance operations. In addition, NSK has used soft material for the mounting board to provide flexibility. NSK will provide a demo of this technology at the expo.

NSK's Approach to Robot Technology
Robot Operation Interfaces
Newly Developed Encoder Unit

Exhibition Overview

Dates Wednesday November 6 to Saturday November 9, 2013
Venue Tokyo Big Sight (Koto-ku, Tokyo)
NSK Booth location SR-08, East 3 Hall
Event URL out side pages

Additional Info

(1) NSK's Approach to Robot Technology
NSK has supported robotic technology over the years through its bearings, NSK Linear Guide™, ball screws, etc. By leveraging its core technologies of tribology, materials, analysis and mechatronics, and through Motion and Control technologies, NSK is dedicated to contributing to the development of human-assistance technologies and a safer society.
NSK is also committed to uncovering the potential concerns and challenges in this field as early as possible to contribute to society through the development of robotic technology.
2007 NSK developed a four-legged robot with autonomous recognition and the ability to climb and descend stairs through the unification of mechanical element component technology and the high-precision sensor technology of mechatronics.
2009 NSK developed a guide robot capable of sensing and avoiding obstacles on flat terrain.
2011 NSK improved the functionality and performance of outward recognition, movement and drive technology and also added guidance capability to a legged robot.
(2) About iREX 2013 (International Robot Exhibition)
The iREX expo is held for the purpose of advancing robotic technology (RT). The theme this year is "RT—Making a Future with Robots." It is organized by the Japan Robot Association (JARA) and Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun, Ltd. The expo includes robotic technologies and robots from Japan and abroad and provides a lively forum for technical exchange and business discussions.