60 years of pioneering technology and transforming industries in Japan

SRI celebrates its rich history of groundbreaking technological advancements and transformative technologies.

SRI proudly marks its 60th anniversary in Japan this year, celebrating a legacy of groundbreaking technological advancements and transformative technologies. Since 1963, SRI in Japan has been at the forefront of innovation, contributing to various industries including computer vision, artificial intelligence, robotics, manufacturing, construction, and more.

“We are thrilled to celebrate this milestone anniversary,” said David Parekh, chief executive officer of SRI. “Our record of driving technological innovation, solving complex challenges, and pioneering solutions have made a meaningful difference in Japan and in building a safer, healthier, and more sustainable world. We are excited to continue to participate in what promises to be an extraordinary future for Japan.”

SRI has a rich history of collaboration and innovation in Japan. In 1961, two years before establishing its office in Tokyo with the goal of helping Japan and serving the increasing number of Japanese clients, SRI helped design the Nomura Research Institute (NRI). Since then, it has collaborated with many of Japan’s largest companies in the mobility, automotive, construction, and consumer industries, as well as with academia and government organizations.

In the manufacturing sector, Abacus Drive—a fixed-ratio rotary transmission for robotic applications—revolutionized production processes, optimizing efficiency, output, and cost-effectiveness by leveraging advanced algorithms and intelligent control systems. Japan-based Harmonic Drive Systems licenses the technology and continues to collaborate with SRI to commercialize it.

Later in the robotics field, SRI and Yamaha Motor Company collaborated on Motobot, combining artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and robotics to create the first autonomous motorcycle-riding humanoid robot. Motobot’s ability to drive with precision and safety not only captured international attention but continues to influence future autonomous vehicles and transportation.

In computer vision and AI, SRI recently collaborated with major Japan organizations to help bridge the knowledge gap between incoming and outgoing workforces, expedite training processes, automate manufacturing processes programs, and improve and enhance modeling and construction.

In the welding industry, SRI in collaboration with Kawada Industries, developed a next-generation welding helmet with state-of-the-art optics and augmented reality features that improve productivity, welding quality and precision, and skill development, and reduce training time.

For architecture and design, SRI, in collaboration with Hypar and Obayashi Corporation, created a generative model for architectural design known as AiCorb®. The modeling software utilizes AI and advanced modeling techniques to transform photographs or drawings into precise building designs that can be used to expedite the design process for more efficient and sustainable building practices.

In September 2020, SRI and Nomura Holdings announced the creation of the Nomura SRI Innovation Center (NSIC) as a home for member companies to refine existing corporate innovation activities and develop new innovation initiatives. Located within the heart of Silicon Valley at SRI’s Menlo Park, Calif., campus, NSIC began in July 2021 and has had 17 member companies participate in their programming, including Obayashi, Harmonic Drive Systems, Resonac, Asahi Q&I, and Shimadzu.

Youssef Iguider, vice president of business development and managing director of SRI’s office in Japan said SRI is excited to continue connecting corporate Japan to Silicon Valley, bringing new innovations in healthcare, assistive robotics, AI and computer vision, and smart infrastructure solutions to improve the quality of life for individuals, organizations, and the country.

“As SRI’s Japan office commemorates its 60th anniversary, we remain dedicated to advancing technology, transforming industries, nurturing relationships, and positively impacting society,” he said.

Parekh added that the addition of the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) to the SRI family earlier this year bolsters the organization’s capabilities in technological areas of longstanding strength, such as computational design, computer vision, and AI and human-machine collaboration, and adds expertise in some of SRI’s strategic growth areas, including sustainability and precision medicine.

“The addition of PARC will enable us to support our Japanese customers and collaborators in truly extraordinary ways,” he said. “We will continue to leverage our successful collaborations in Japan to help shape the future of innovation, pushing the boundaries of what is possible, and creating a better world for generations to come.”

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