Lion of the Blogosphere

Is the United States falling behind in robot technology?

According to a NY Times article, a Japanese team dominated an international robot competition.

I predict that the United States will lose to Japan, and Japan will become the world’s new superpower based on its robot technology. China will be in second place. The United States will be left behind, full of unemployed children of immigrants who were allowed to move here under the assumption we needed low-wage labor before we realized that robots would supply all of that labor in just another two decades.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

December 23, 2013 at 1:52 PM

Posted in Robots

41 Responses

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  1. For you kids out there:


    December 23, 2013 at 2:42 PM

    • Perfect.


      December 24, 2013 at 12:31 PM

  2. Japan had robots from late 18th century which were called karakuri. Granted they had to be ‘powered’ by wound springs, but on 1801 Japan was the ‘leading’ country in robotics.

    The Japanese are having fewer children and they are not so eager of importing immigrants with lower intelligence, even now. They will exist 100 years from now; I can’t say the same for America.


    December 23, 2013 at 3:15 PM

    • At their current rate of population implosion Japan will either have to expedite robotics exponentially or bring in more immigrants. They’re already doing the latter. Of course they could try instituting government perks to encourage fertility, but this hasn’t worked in other asian countries like singapore.

      Currently Japan sells more adult diapers than baby diapers.


      December 24, 2013 at 11:24 AM

      • The only ‘immigrants’ they truly tolerate are Caucasians.


        December 26, 2013 at 4:02 AM

      • “The only ‘immigrants’ they truly tolerate are Caucasians.”

        I’m not sure this is true. The largest immigrant groups to Japan are from other asian countries.


        December 26, 2013 at 8:56 AM

      • The largest immigrant groups to Japan are from other asian countries.

        Other Asians may work in Japan but they also have historical axes. European businessmen don’t hate Japanese for historical aggressions.

        The Undiscovered Jew

        December 27, 2013 at 12:48 AM

  3. I love how everybody in the west makes fun of japan’s use of robots instead of immigrants, while our crime rates skyrocket and median incomes plummet. I hate though how Japan is the only colonial power that doesn’t have to apologize for its imperialism, and doesn’t have to atone for its “sins of imperialism” by embracing mass immigration (albeit Japan’s former subjects aren’t exactly suffering from an achievement gap).

    Monroe Ficus

    December 23, 2013 at 3:36 PM

    • Actually, I love them for their lack of apology for their imperialism. There’s also a story out there of a contest between Japanese officers in how many heads they could cut off while they were stationed in China. Good stuff, just like their national anthem. I hope they know how good they have it to not have all these disgusting immigrants we get, much less all the blacks we have. Now everyone, please be careful at the Short Hills Mall…


      December 24, 2013 at 11:44 AM

  4. My sarcasm meter is pinging with this post.


    December 23, 2013 at 3:44 PM

  5. uhhhh….lion japan has always been the leader. almost all industrial robots are made in japan. FANUC is the world’s largest machine tool manufacturer too.

    jorge videla

    December 23, 2013 at 6:31 PM

  6. Japanese have been leaders in robotics for years. The rest of your prediction suffers from the usual flaw of extrapolating all current trends to absurdity.

    Dave Pinsen

    December 23, 2013 at 8:09 PM

    • Is extrapolating all current trends to absurdity really a flaw for a blog reliant on reader comments? Kind of a feature rather than a bug, no?


      December 24, 2013 at 12:30 PM

  7. No one is going to beat Japan at robots. Don’t even try. Same goes for weird commercials.


    December 23, 2013 at 8:13 PM

  8. Japan ahead of China? Why?


    December 23, 2013 at 10:07 PM

  9. The birthrate of Japan is too low for it ever to be a superpower, robots or not.


    December 23, 2013 at 11:11 PM

    • Give it time…


      December 24, 2013 at 11:45 AM

    • I think the point LOB’s making implies that human birthrates will matter less.


      December 25, 2013 at 2:38 AM

    • Unless the nerd religious prophecy of the Singularity comes to pass, and AI overwhelms us with it’s super smarts. The robots will be the arms and legs of Skynet after they decide our fate in a millisecond.

      Mike Street Station

      December 26, 2013 at 5:03 PM

  10. I predict nations will matter even less, and rich Americans will have more in common with rich Japanese than poor Americans.

    Vince, the Lionhearted

    December 24, 2013 at 12:08 AM

    • This is already true, sorta. The elite in most countries identify with their social class, not their national origin or their ethnic group. I mean look at the power elite in NYC and London. Their lives are more alike than that of their respective countrymen. In the future, the world will be run by a cosmpolitan power elite who reside in alpha cities (and occassionally beta and gamma cities) who socialise more with each other than with non-elite co-nationals.


      December 26, 2013 at 12:10 AM

      • Wealthy bobos don’t socialize with non-Whites on an intimate level. You are clearly wrong in this regard. Most of the White elites in NYC who throw parties, invite people of the same race.


        December 26, 2013 at 8:29 PM

  11. Whose robots will win in a war; China’s or Japan’s?

    The Undiscovered Jew

    December 24, 2013 at 12:50 AM

  12. Japan has excellent robotics. But they will never be a superpower. For the same reasons Taiwan, Singapore and Israel won’t. However, they’ll still have a much higher standard of living than the US for the reasons you mentioned. You can’t have a first class civilization with a 3rd world population.


    December 24, 2013 at 4:21 AM

  13. Yeah just like people predicted japan will become superpower by 90s.


    December 24, 2013 at 4:41 AM

  14. And lion you forgot that china has population of 1.3 billion.What are they going to do with all the unemployment.


    December 24, 2013 at 4:43 AM

    • Have a war.


      December 24, 2013 at 11:45 AM

  15. Aren’t we due for one of your “Pity the Jews on Christmas” posts? Remember: Chinese restaurants are open.

    The Fat Man

    December 24, 2013 at 9:41 AM

  16. Robot tech would have prevented tje armed bus robber from even thinking about boarding the bus in Seattle with a gun to rob passengers. Instead, a hipster dude had to use Krav maga to subdue the robbed. We need robot guards on busses NOW


    December 24, 2013 at 9:43 AM

  17. Google bought the Japanese robotics company in question before this competition made them famous. Three cheers for value transference! USA! USA!


    December 24, 2013 at 10:24 AM

  18. SCHAFT, the japanese winner of darpa challange, is owned by google. I don’t think japanese will will win because in the end its the software that runs the machines.


    December 24, 2013 at 10:37 AM

  19. What about large American tech titans like google and amazon? They are heavily investing in robotic technology recently.


    December 24, 2013 at 10:48 AM

  20. One has to actually reproduce oneself to be a “super” anything. When your women decide to extinct your race and tribe you die. That’s all. You may die rich and smart, but you die. Unless the robotics includes artificial wombs and tele-dildonics, I doubt it is going to change the present and virtually inevitable self-genocide of the Japanese people as an independent nation.

    Big Bill

    December 24, 2013 at 11:43 AM

  21. So the year is 2076. America has been reduce to turmoil similar to some Latin American countries seemingly forgotten its own identity. Japan rise as a superpower manned by armies of robots in place of people by its lack of population. China rises backed by its population though its technology has not quite as robotized.

    This sounds like a setting for an Anime.


    December 24, 2013 at 9:20 PM

  22. Japan is the only first world nation not importing large numbers of useless low skill immigrants. Of course it is easier to justify in Japan’s case. They have no natural resources to exploit and they are already overpopulated. Japan is a collection of small islands. They have the highest population density of any first world country, and much of there landmass is uninhabitable mountain terrain. But still the rest of the world pressures them, yet they refuse.

    I think in the future Japan will probably have the highest standard of living in the world. They will have a high iq, productive population with very few NAMs. Switzerland is probably the only Western country that has a chance, but they seem to be getting overwhelmed by NAM immigration despite the resistance of their population.

    Their government policy is also designed to take care of value creators, ie the type of people who will lead in robotics. The government has tried to support all sorts of artisanal industries which have been eliminated by third world mass production in the US. The result is in all sorts of specialty fields japan produces the highest quality products.

    Hypodermic needles:


    Pens: (most of those brands are japanese)

    And of course you have electronics fields like batteries.

    So yes, I see Japan leading in robots. They have been ahead for a while since its barely even been pursued in the west while Asimo was introduced 13 years ago.

    Oh and Japan also dominates the worldwide excavator industry which has obvious uses for robotics. Check out the dual articulating arms in this video :


    December 25, 2013 at 12:06 AM

    • That is cool but not worth it from an economic perspective. The operater only does one arm at a time while the other hangs limp. And because the operator keeps switching back and forth he is not very skilled on either arm.


      December 27, 2013 at 12:46 PM

  23. Four out of five teams competing were American. The Japanese got the first place because the most closely followed the rules of competition, which in real life will not matter. The team placing last did so because, to quote the article, “the Darpa judges disallowed a clever solution the team had come up with for one of the tasks.”

    Hamster of the Blogosphere

    December 25, 2013 at 1:41 PM

  24. I think many people misunderstand what is most important in robotics. Sure, Japan is clearly the leader in the mechanics of robots. But mechanics is not what prevents ever more widespread use of robots, it is software that is the most limiting factor. And the most advanced “robot” software so far is probably Google’s self-driving car.


    December 26, 2013 at 1:23 PM

    • Right. The number one, two and three problems with technology are all about simplifying to make a machine easy for regular people to use. As far as this goes, America does well.


      December 27, 2013 at 12:44 PM

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