Earlier this week, Japanese robotics producer Fuji Machine decided to enter into a large cooperative agreement with Odense Municipality which initially includes testing of their robotic technologies within the region’s healthcare sector.
Consequently, nursing staff and patients at Odense University Hospital (OUH) are these days testing Fuji Machine’s “Support Robot”, which is expected to help them in their everyday life. The robot is an aid to elderly and disabled people who need support to stand upright and walk. Fuji Machine expects that the experiences gained throughout the testing in Odense will help to increase the robots’ usability in the future.
Odense – a great test lab for robotics and welfare technologies
Fuji Machine has long been looking for the right place to test their robot, and after dialogues with Developing Fyn Municipal Ltd., Invest in Denmark and Odense Welfare Consortium, they chose Odense. About the choice, President and CEO of Fuji Machine, Mr. Nobuyuki Soga, explains:
“Odense is the perfect place to test our “Support Robot”. We have studied the test environment in Odense, and we are confident that it meets all our needs. Here’s a high expertise within robotics and welfare technologies, and we look forward to the collaboration with Odense Municipality and to the professional discussions about the further development of the robot.”
Jeppe Solmer, eHealth project manager at Invest in Denmark, points to the Danish tradition for user-involvement as a key reason why foreign companies within welfare technologies look towards Denmark:
“In general, Denmark is known for its user-involvement in the test & evaluation phase as well as in the R&D phase – and Odense is no exception. This gives a key advantage for the companies as it ensures that the products, when marketed, meet the requirements of the user.”
A future European R&D centre is in the pipeline
The expertise and the opportunity of user-involvement might also be the reason why Fuji Machine has indicated that they are interested in establishing a local office in Odense Municipality over the next two years. This could for example be a European R&D unit or a Nordic Sales and Services office.
“We are very happy to see that Odense Municipality and Fuji have signed the deal, as it is a great opportunity for Odense to market their strongholds within robotics and welfare technologies. We hope that Invest in Denmark can assist Odense in attracting more international companies, and hence create more jobs in the region”, says Jeppe Solmer.