Processing power: Robot speeds production at Nagoya food manufacturer

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Two robots work on a production line at Ichibiki Co. in Nagoya.

A humanoid robot called “Foodly” works on a production line in a factory of Ichibiki Co., a food manufacturer in Nagoya.

The robot, which stands 1.53 meters tall and weighs 40 kilograms, was manufactured by RT Corp., a Tokyo-based robot-development company.

Ichibiki recently began using two such robots for its retort pouch soup-production line to alleviate labor shortages and increase productivity.

Foodly uses cameras in its head and chest to pick up tsukune meatballs with its tong-like hands and place them in cups. The robot can carry out this process at the same speed as a human — about three seconds — and the company now needs only one employee to help with the work, rather than two.

“We should be able to further expand our use of robots since their output never wavers,” a company official said.