The Japanese government is stepping up support to create the conditions to put robots into more widespread practical use in a range of fields.
Businesses see robots as a way to cope with labor shortages and help workers maintain social distance as the pandemic drags on.
Companies not only need advanced robots that can handle complex tasks, but work environments suitable for automation.
To meet this challenge, the Industry Ministry plans to request about 17 million dollars for a draft budget in the coming fiscal year. That would be about triple the amount earmarked for the current fiscal year.
Some of the money would go to the development of containers and production lines so robots can arrange food items more easily.
Money would also be spent on researching and developing communications tools so robots can move around buildings and take elevators.
The ministry also plans to help build a system to track the robots' locations.