Under a series of cooperative agreements with the National Science Foundation with additional support from other U.S. government agencies, the International Technology Research Institute (ITRI) at Loyola College has performed evaluations of foreign technologies since 1989. The Office of Naval Research supported this brief report in order to assess progress in mechatronics in Japan and related topics, and with a possible view to identifying topics for future studies covering Japan. The author visited two large Japanese companies, two universities, a government laboratory, and a government/industry/university consortium (see the Table of Contents, p. i, for a list; see Appendix B for site reports). To facilitate the inquiry, the author submitted a set of prepared questions concerning broad trends in manufacturing technology and specific issues about mechatronics to each host site. The following report includes three parts. Part 1 consists of an overview of mechatronics and a short analysis of present and future trends in manufacturing technology in Japan. Part II contains reports from the sites visited. Part III contains the questions posed to the hosts and selected responses.

Published: September 1998; WTEC Hyper-Librarian