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Seiuemon Inaba

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By using a unique encoded command process to control machines and industrial robots, Dr. Seiuemon Inaba, honorary chairman of FANUC, Ltd. in Oshino-mura, Japan, helped make his company one of the world leaders in this technology. His pioneering concept of flexible automation systems is known as numerical control (NC). Early in his career, he developed NC for commercial purposes and invented the electro-hydraulic pulse motor for servomechanisms. This led to the rapid adoption of NC machine tools to reduce total cost in engineering and manufacturing. He is credited with being the first Japanese industrialist to build and operate an automated factory with NC machine tools and robots.

Dr. Inaba is former president of the Japan Society of Precision Engineering and a recipient of his country's highest honors, including the Medal of Honor with Purple Ribbon and the Medal of Honor with Blue Ribbon.