Logis-Tech Tokyo shows off labor-shortage solutions

One of Japan's largest exhibitions for industrial machines is underway. The theme of Logis-Tech Tokyo is overcoming labor shortages, long working hours and other problems in the logistics industry.

More than 500 companies are participating, the highest number ever for the trade show.

Auto parts maker Toyota Industries is demonstrating a self-driving forklift. A sensor locates empty spaces on a truck bed, so that cargo can be loaded without human intervention.

Tokyo-based firm Mujin makes control systems for industrial robots. Its robotic arm uses a camera to determine package sizes.

The device then calculates an efficient loading sequence, so that a maximum amount of items can be handled.

Hojo Masaru, Secretary General of Logis-Tech Tokyo, says, "The production lines of many factories have few people. But the shipping sections do have human workers. It is very important to use these technologies to change the situation."

Logis-Tech Tokyo will run through Friday.