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Industrial robots evolve as Japan's labor shortage worsens

Automated machines to aid quality control, move items on elevators

Nidec-Shimpo's self-guided cart drives into an elevator.

OSAKA -- Japanese manufacturers are speeding up development of industrial robots, chasing the increased demand for factory automation to offset the country's deepening labor shortage.

Nidec-Shimpo, a subsidiary of Nidec, has developed a self-driving cart that can ride elevators between floors. The Kyoto-based company's product wirelessly tells the elevator its target floor and waits to enter the elevator if its lasers detect people stepping off.

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