PlayStation Inventor Ken Kutaragi is Building Robots to Fight Covid

The next step for PlayStation creator Ken Kutaragi is to improve and adapt A.I driven machinery to fit the Covid era

By Otto Kratky

October 14, 2020

A new report from Bloomberg has revealed the latest position being held by the 70-year-old inventor of the PlayStation, and that he is being paid nothing for his work. Ken Kutaragi has assumed the role of chief executive officer at Ascent Robotics Inc., a artificial intelligence startup in Tokyo, Japan.

Before you start worrying that the PlayStation inventor is making The Patriots, hear me out. Kutaragi has taken this role not to control the flow of information, but to “make affordable robots that can safely move around and do physical work alongside humans in factories and logistics centers,” according to the report.

“The Covid-19 outbreak has turned the old argument about robots taking our jobs on its head,” said Kutaragi. Although sparse on details on how he would accomplish integrating AI-driven robots into workplaces, Kutaragi did reveal that to accomplish this, partnerships between other companies would be essential.

In that vein, Kutaragi has partnered Ascent with multiple companies to advance his AI goals. The startup has already partnered with Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd. on a robotic arm that uses a single camera to differentiate items from each other and pick up one out of a group. Another partnership with an anonymous Japanese carmaker is working towards developing better autonomous driving software.

These two partnerships lean into the most difficult challenges that Kutaragi is facing: collaborative robots and autonomous driving. While self-driving cars feel like they are only years away, the technology required to have robots work together is a far off dream being pursued by multiple companies.

However, Kutaragi has found that he is the man for the job. “If you are looking to combine robotics and mobility, you need someone in charge who understands technology,” he said.

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