Service robots making strides into Chinese homes

(Xinhua) 13:58, August 21, 2023

Service robots are pictured at the World Robot Conference 2023 in Beijing, capital of China, Aug. 17, 2023. The World Robot Conference 2023 is held from Aug. 16 to 22 in Beijing. (Xinhua/Ren Chao)

BEIJING, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- During the ongoing 2023 World Robot Expo at the Beijing Etrong International Exhibition &Convention Center, nearly 600 robots of diverse shapes and functions have drawn enthusiastic crowds, showcasing their abilities in dancing, singing, writing, painting, and even playing basketball.

For many Chinese, robots signify more than just mechanical arms operating within factories or sophisticated humanoids captivating visitors at expos. Instead, they are handy assistants lending a helping hand in various daily life scenarios.

China is the world's largest robot market and has the richest application scenarios for robots on earth, said Xin Guobin, vice minister of industry and information technology.

The country's output of service robots reached 6.46 million units in 2022, while that of industrial robots totaled 443,000 units, data from the ministry showed.

The steady expansion of service robots has continued this year, with a total production of 3.53 million sets in the first half of 2023, up 9.6 percent from a year ago.

In China, service robots have been applied in multiple sectors on a large scale, including health, construction and elderly care sectors.

According to the Chinese Institute of Electronics, the scale of China's service robot market is expected to top 60 billion yuan (about 8.3 billion U.S. dollars) in 2023, with home service robots taking the lion's share, accounting for over 60 percent of the service robot market.

Home service robots such as cleaning robots and air purification robots have gained popularity as Chinese consumers seek a smarter household life.

During the mid-year online shopping festival known as "6.18," China's leading home service brand Ecovacs Robotics registered total sales of about 1.5 billion yuan, up 25 percent year on year.

The Suzhou-headquartered company on Thursday unveiled its new range of robot products for floor cleaning, window cleaning and air purification.

The market penetration rate of floor cleaning robots in Chinese urban households has been growing steadily, rising from about 3 percent in 2017 to nearly 10 percent in 2022, according to a research note from investment bank China International Capital Corporation Limited.

In early 2023, the Chinese government unveiled a plan to promote the integration of robotics with a wide range of industries, such as agriculture and manufacturing.

More efforts will be made for the advancement of home service robots encompassing tasks like cooking, cleaning, monitoring, and providing companionship, with more application scenarios to be explored and the interaction between robots and users to be enhanced, according to the plan.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Hongyu)


Related Stories