Robots of every description empower multiple industries in China

(People's Daily Online) 14:31, August 25, 2022

Robots have been applied to more and more scenarios in an ever-wider range of industries in China and are embracing broad prospects looking forward.

Photo shows a fire-fighting robot during an expo at the World Robot Conference 2022 in Beijing. (Xinhua/Ju Huanzong)

"China has become the largest market for the application of robots in the world," Xin Guobin, vice minister of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), said at the World Robot Conference 2022 (WRC 2022), which was held from August 18 to 21 in Beijing.

"The country's robot industry is entering a crucial period for innovative development and upgrading," Xin noted.

The market size of China's robot sector reached 83.9 billion yuan (about $12.2 billion) in 2021, including about 44.6 billion yuan for industrial robots and 39.3 billion yuan for service robots, according to a report issued by the Chinese Institute of Electronics (CIE).

In recent years, China's robot industry has been developing quickly. Wang Hong, another official with the MIIT, introduced that industrial robots have been widely adopted in 143 industries and 52 major categories in the country.

Photo shows robot arms used for producing battery cases during an expo at the World Robot Conference 2022 in Beijing. (Xinhua/Ju Huanzong)

Wang pointed out that the widespread application of industrial robots has not only accelerated the digital transformation of traditional industries, but has also underpinned the high-quality development of emerging industries such as new energy vehicles and photovoltaic cells.

Besides, service robots have continuously improved social services in fields such as catering, retail, logistics, and medical rehabilitation.

Over the past years, China has promoted the high-quality development of its robot sector by rolling out various measures, including formulating plans for the sector, encouraging technological innovation, enriching application scenarios, and improving the market environment, Xin said.

Xin pointed out that the country's robot industry has attained remarkable achievements thanks to strong market demand, technological breakthroughs and supportive policies.

Photo shows a fruit-picking robot during an expo at the World Robot Conference 2022 in Beijing. (Xinhua/Ju Huanzong)

Robotics has been praised as "the pearl on the crown of the manufacturing industry," and has been used as an important indicator to gauge a country's strength in scientific and technological innovation and industrial competitiveness.

At the WRC 2022, more than 500 sets of robots were displayed, among which 36 made their world debuts, said Liang Liang, deputy secretary-general of the CIE.

Liang noted that new robot products in agriculture, mining, medical services, construction and other application scenarios were on display during the event.

In the exhibition hall of the event, 130 four-legged robotic dogs performed a dance, drawing much attention. The robotic dogs, developed by Unitree Robotics, a Chinese quadruped robots manufacturer, are expected to be applied in many fields concerning people's daily life in the future, according to a representative of the company.

Photo shows robot sorters during an expo at the World Robot Conference 2022 in Beijing. (Xinhua/Ren Chao)

Several humanoid robots from EXrobots, a Chinese tech company based in Dalian city of northeast China's Liaoning Province, also amazed the audience at the WRC 2022.

Li Boyang, CEO of EXrobots, said that the company will continue to explore applications of humanoid robots in fields such as elderly care, government services, and education.

At the display area, an exoskeleton robot developed by Beijing AI-robotics Technology Co., Ltd. could also be seen. Thanks to the application of the latest technologies, the exoskeleton robot is capable of evaluating a user's motion intentions in real time, "perceiving" the changes in the user's body parts such as their waist and leg, and helping the user move around, including going up and down the stairs and slopes accordingly.

Visitors look at a surgery robot during an expo at the World Robot Conference 2022 in Beijing. (Xinhua/Ren Chao)

The exoskeleton robot can help people with limited mobility get walking assistance and shorten the rehabilitation period for patients, according to Shuai Mei, president of the developer.

In addition, surgery robots, agricultural robots, rescue robots, robots designed to take throat swabs for COVID-19 nucleic acid tests, and construction robots, among others, also dazzled visitors at the WRC 2022.

(Web editor: Hongyu, Liang Jun)


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