R&D Outlook

In order to achieve “an ideal society with affluence both in matter and mind”, the Panasonic Group aims to contribute to solving global environmental issues, which I consider to be our pressing and most important issue, and aims to contribute to the health, safety, and comfort of each and every customer throughout their lives.

In R&D, we have specified eight core technologies as a source of competitiveness from the areas of focus on the environment, lifestyle, as well as the common software platform that serves as a dam for technologies across the Group, and we are enhancing of the technologies through collaboration across the Group. Here are some of the initiatives by core technology. 

Diagram showing the direction of research and development aimed at solving global environmental problems and contributing to the lifelong health, safety, and comfort of each individual by the Panasonic Group.

The Panasonic Group’s Technological Focus Areas

This is a summary of the eight core technologies that the Panasonic Group is working with and strengthening across the Group.

Core Technology Platform

Initiatives for Each Core Technology

01 Solving Global Environmental Issues

Perovskite solar cells

  • Solar cells that can be installed even in places where conventional models would be unacceptable, such as on the windows of buildings, and are thus harmonious with community and daily life
  • Achievement of the world’s highest-level 18.1% energy conversion efficiency for a perovskite solar cell module
  • Large cells that provide flexibility in size with high energy conversion efficiency due to the adoption of unique inkjet coating technology and materials technology
This is an image of a 30 centimeter-square perovskite solar cell that has achieved world-class energy conversion efficiency, and its installation on the walls and windows of buildings.

Decarbonization solution based on the management of distributed energy resources

  • Supply-demand balance adjustment made between users of electricity and power grid operators through the creation and expanded use of clean energy and the promotion of electrification
  • Provision of a package of technologies for the maximum use of DER based on expertise as a user of electricity
  • Development of integrated technologies and platform to connect DER to social infrastructure
    *DER: Distributed Energy Resources
This is a four-scene diagram of a decarbonization solution using distributed energy resource control.

Green hydrogen manufacturing device

  • Development of Panasonic’s unique nonprecious-metal highly active anode material (NiFe-LDH)
  • Hydrogen manufacturing efficiency (of 74.7%@1A/cm2 on a laboratory level) proven with anion exchange membrane water electrolysis
  • Development under way for the application of this material technology for an anode material for alkaline water electrolysis
The crystal structure of a noble metal-free layered double hydroxide made of nickel and iron and its application are illustrated.

All-solid-state battery

  • Battery that outstrips conventional lithium-ion secondary batteries in terms of output, brevity of charging time, and safety and security
  • Unique solid electrolyte developed by Panasonic by using halide with high ionic conductivity
  • Development of a high-speed ionic conductivity evaluation method by taking a computational science-based approach for automatic diffusion path search
This is a diagram showing the crystal structure of the developed solid electrolyte and the lithium conduction path in the crystal.

On-site Cyber-Physical System (CPS)

  • On-site optimization: Simulation to minimize CO2 emissions and maximize profit
  • On-site visualization: Automatic observation of the movements of people, things and equipment and automatic identification of bottlenecks
  • Total optimization: Operation consulting
This is a diagram showing a scheme where the On-site filming by using an on-site CPS kit and digitized in real time visualization of performance through digitalization.

Bio CO2 Transformation technology to accelerate the growth of plants

  • Application of unique microbial technology for the effective use of atmospheric CO2, which can be procured in unlimited quantities, to realize economically rational production of commercial products
  • Activation of energy metabolism through photosynthesis-based cell metabolism to increase yield, stabilize production and enhance immunity
  • Simple spraying onto leaves and no need to make substantial changes to or large capital investments in conventional agricultural work
We recover plant growth stimulants from photosynthetic microorganisms modified by our proprietary technology. Spraying this liquid, branded as Novitek, on the leaves of crops can increase the yield by up to 40%.

Automating the recycling of home electrical appliances for a circular economy

  • Identification and removal of screws even where there is rust or stains
  • Careful disassembly of the cover of an outdoor unit by a robot imitating the movements of an experienced worker
  • Efficient operation by building a database of the numbers and locations of screws used in various outdoor units
A robot that automatically disassembles the exterior of an outdoor unit in the disassembly process of an air conditioner

Plant-derived sustainable material: Cellulose-based material

  • Lighter and stronger than conventional petroleum-based resin due to the use of cellulose
  • Performance on par with that of conventional petroleum-based resin
  • Usability of a conventional petroleum-based resin molding machine
  • Development under way to make the resin, including binder resin used in it, 100% biodegradable
There are white pellets. This is cellulose ecomaterial kinari, a sustainable material containing plant fibers.

02 Life-long Health, Safety, and Comfort for Everyone

User experience (UX) management through emotion visualization and facial expression analysis

  • Quantification of users’ facial expressions for real-time emotion recognition
  • No need for questionnaires, as data can be obtained from users’ unconscious responses
This illustration shows an application of facial expression analysis. We use account analysis AI to quantify a person's facial expression from a photographed face. You can use this to estimate your satisfaction when watching an event.

Operational support robot-based solution fit for various situations

Creation of a future community where people live in harmony with robots

  • Better service continuity based on a remote-control system that enables the operation of four units by one person
  • Realization of a running platform that ensures safety and security even in an environment that includes both people and robots
  • Support for service introduction and better operation based on risk-conscious simulation
A transport robot and a cleaning robot are running automatically through the passage in the building.

Scalable AI: Prompt delivery to all customers

  • Establishment of a “basic generative AI model” as the basis for all learning
  • Introduction of an AI system with the addition of a small amount of data and with the development period cut to one-fifth relative to the past
This diagram shows the basic model of AI. The Panasonic Group aims to build a foundation model from a large amount of data covering a wide range of business areas, and to deliver optimal AI with only a small amount of data for each application.

Responsible AI: Proving worthy of all customers’ trust

  • Achievement of “Responsible AI” based on reliable technologies
  • Enhancement of AI ethics and governance through company-wide education and checking systems
Examples of AI responses that do not properly cover unknown information, and a company-wide rAI ethics check system.

03 Common Software Platform

IoT cybersecurity monitoring system

  • AI-based cyberattack detection technology that focuses on the control commands and networks of IoT devices
  • Cyberattack detection system that visualizes attacks and saves time/labor on related analysis
Conceptual diagram of IoT cybersecurity system and photos of a futuristic security operations center.

Automating precision work by fusing visual and touch sensors

AI-based reproduction of the advanced visual and touch sensing activities that are conducted unconsciously by humans

  • Precise recognition of the socket location by visual sensing
  • Recognition of the position of the plug held with the fingertips
  • Calculation of the insert position with submillimeter precision
The robot arm grasps a USB plug, recognizes a USB socket on a table and tries to insert it.

Secure IoT network of several hundred units that can be built without new wiring work

  • Easy installation (at a low cost) by the use of existing lines
  • Realization of an IP network of several hundred units, which is required for large-scale communication infrastructure for buildings, etc.
  • Renovation of existing infrastructure to create a secure and high-speed communication network
Illustration describing IoT network.

Wireless transmission system that does not require battery replacement or power supply cables

  • Long-distance power transmission for the delivery of electricity to places unsuitable for wiring
  • Simultaneous power transmission to multiple devices to eliminate the need for battery replacement
  • Small footprint for installation even in tight spaces
Products used in wireless power transmission systems.