Established as a confectionary equipment manufacturer ,Suzumo started off as a developer of equipment for making Japanese-style confections.

Using the technological and development abilities that brought mechanization to confection-making, Suzumo began developing a machine that would automatically form sushi rice into balls (Nigiri). The company stressed being able to form balls of sushi rice that would be perfected to the same degree as if done by a sushi chef, and took the opinions of chefs into account as it made countless improvements on the machine. The development project that began in 1976 paid off in 1981, when Suzumo completed work on the world's first automatic sushi-forming machine (now called a "sushi robot"). The finished results reflected the company's strict adherence to its credo for the project that the rice should retain its palatibility and the sushi should taste handmade.
At first, machine-made sushi was not deemed acceptable for sushi restaurants. However, consumers saw it as "good for being sanitary," since the food it produced would not be directly touched by human hand. Suzumo would subsequently become a key mover driving the popularity of conveyor-belt sushi restaurants, and also made a major contribution to popularizing sushi.