Top 7 robotics research institutes and centers in Japan

In Japan, research and development are a significant focus when it comes to robotics. With highly competitive research, development, and applied technologies, the country leads the world in this field. Japanese research institutions, corporations, and similar entities work together to implement advanced robot technology in Japan in a wide variety of areas.

In this post, we listed the top 7 research institutes and centers involved in research, development, and fostering collaborations in robotics in Japan.

National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST)

AIST is one of the largest public research organizations in Japan and focuses on the creation and implementation of technologies that are useful to the industry and society in the country. Its Robot Innovation Research Center examines specific target industries for improvement through the use of robotics, develops protocols for the safety assessment of applied robotic devices, and analyzes the results of the application. In particular, it houses the “Project Unit of Robotic Devices for Nursing Care,” a collaboration with teams from the Intelligent Systems Research Institute and the Human Informatics Research Institute. In terms of human assistant robots, AIST is well known for developing the PARO robot seal.


As Japan’s largest and most comprehensive basic and applied science research organization, RIKEN offers research in a variety of scientific disciplines, such as human robotics. In collaboration with Tokai Rubber Industries, Ltd (RIBA and RIBA-II) and Sumitomo Riko Company, Ltd (ROBEAR), the RIBA (2009), RIBA-II (2011) and ROBEAR (2015), robotic nursing robots for mobility and lifting, were developed. RI-MAN was founded by RIKEN’s Bio-Mimetic Control Research Center to assist the care of seniors.

Japan Robot Association (JARA)

JARA aims to promote the production of robots by fostering research, robot development, and the use of robot technology. The association seeks not only to improve the proliferation of state-of-the-art technology in the sector but also to help Japan’s welfare, economic growth, and living standards. JARA activities concerning human robots focus on its participation in the drafting of rules as well as the development of strategies and programs for increased use and the examination of ongoing trends.

Japan Automobile Research Institute (JARI)

JARI is an integrated foundation devoted to automotive testing and research, including personal robot safety. The Institute develops risk analysis technologies and safety assessment techniques. Because its robots are a new technology, JARI uses the technologies and information from relevant industries, including the automotive and electrical machinery industries.

Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International (ATR)

ATR is a private company that promotes fundamental and innovative research and development activities. Concerning research and development, ATR focuses on four areas, one of which being “life-supporting robots.” The associated “Intelligent Robotics and Communication Laboratories” aim to promote core technologies for lifelong robotics to help both elderly and physically disadvantaged persons. ATR collaborates with various universities, research institutes, and firms in and outside Japan to achieve research results.

Robot Safety Centre

The Robot Safety Center is a jointly funded company formed in 2010 in Tsukuba by NEDO, AIST, and JARI. The only facility of its kind, it develops test methods for the safety check of personal care and auxiliary robots. The Robot Safety Center has four main test areas for tests on driving, personal safety, durability, and electromagnetic compatibility. The Japan Quality Assurance Agency (JQA) is expected to provide certification services in the future.

Centre for Cybernics Research (CCR)

The Center for Cybernetics Research was established as a result of a FIRST research project, the “Innovative Research and Technology Funding Program” launched by the Council for Science and Technology Policy. This program included collaboration with Tsukuba University, Osaka University and Cyberdyne, Inc. in support of human aid technology development and research. Professor Yoshiyuki Sankai, Principal Investigator of Center (Tsukuba University) who is also President of Cyberdyne, Inc., and his team are working on how the elderly and the physically challenged live safe, safe and independent.