China’s Impending Robot Revolution

Aug. 3, 2016

  • Foxconn has long been considered a bellwether of Chinese manufacturing. When, four years ago, China’s largest private employer and primary assembler of Apple iPhones raised wages by up to 25% for its 1.2 million workers, manufacturers throughout China were forced to follow suit. Then in May, Foxconn announced a move of even greater import, disclosing that it had replaced 60,000 of the 110,000 workers at its giant plant in Kunshan, near Shanghai, by deploying thousands of industrial robots.

China seeks top-10 automation ranking by 2020: robot industry group

Jul 22, 2016

  • China is aiming for a top-10 ranking in automation for its industries by 2020 by putting more robots in its factories, the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) said. China’s push to modernize its manufacturing with robotics is partly a response to labor shortages and fast-rising wages.

AI, robotic firms likely to find funding in China

July 18, 2016

  • Startups looking for funding to develop next-generation technology like artificial intelligence and robotics are increasingly likely to find it in China. Companies working on equipment to deliver parcels to the moon, robots to stock warehouse shelves, and computers capable of acquiring knowledge like a human are among more than 30 startups seeded by Comet Labs since its founding last year.

Service robot for elderly promising


  • An intelligent robot that helps the elderly detect intruders, gas leaks and other dangers is expected to be on the market by year’s end at an affordable price, according to its developer. “It is small but complete in functions,” said Zhou Fengyu, director of Shandong University’s Cloud Intelligent Robotics Laboratory. The 62-millimeter-high service robot, dubbed Da Zhi or “smart”, is the product of three years of hard work from Zhou and a team of 20 at the university.

Makers of robots form alliance to push R&D


  • China’s top 10 robot manufacturers formed an alliance on Thursday, pledging to promote the research and development of high-end industrial and service robots. The move is part of China’s broad efforts to upgrade its labor-intensive manufacturing industry with technological innovation. The world’s largest industrial robotics market plans to triple its annual output of industrial robots to 100,000 in five years.

Baidu move sees ‘robocars’ turning a corner


  • The news that Baidu will participate in a citywide trial of autonomous vehicles signals the latest move in the internet giant’s plans to become a major player in the burgeoning market. Under a five-year agreement between China’s biggest search engine and the city of Wuhu in the eastern province of Anhui, the company’s autonomous cars, buses and vans will gradually be introduced to selected roads and zones before eventually being allowed to use public highways throughout the city. The vehicles will not carry passengers during the first three years of the trial period.

Robots to sit China’s national math exam in 2017

May 7, 2016

  • AN artificial intelligence (AI) device may sit and (perhaps) pass the national college entrance exam (“gaokao”) in math in 2017, a tech company said Thursday. The AI test taker, part of a project by the Ministry of Science and Technology, was designed by Chengdu Zhun Xing Yun Xue Technology Co., Ltd.

Western Investors Eye Chinese Robotic Revolution

May 02, 2016

  • Dozens of investors and knowledge collaborators recently visited China from the U.S. and Europe to join in what is being seen as a robotic revolution. Though China has emerged as the biggest market for industrial robots, what is attracting angel investors is the Chinese ability to fabricate and produce at low-cost for the international market. “There is also a lot of innovation going on in China but I think the bigger opportunity is to use China to make your idea become real,” Benjamin Joffe, a partner with Hax, an investing company, told VOA at the recent Global Mobile Internet Conference in Beijing. Most of the investors and start-ups coming to China are focusing on markets in the U.S. and Europe, he said.

China Is Building a Robot Army of Model Workers

April 26, 2016

  • Inside a large, windowless room in an electronics factory in south Shanghai, about 15 workers are eyeing a small robot arm with frustration. Near the end of the production line where optical networking equipment is being packed into boxes for shipping, the robot sits motionless. The hitch reflects a much bigger technological challenge facing China’s manufacturers today. Wages in Shanghai have more than doubled in the past seven years, and the company that owns the factory, Cambridge Industries Group, faces fierce competition from increasingly high-tech operations in Germany, Japan, and the United States. To address both of these problems, CIG wants to replace two-thirds of its 3,000 workers with machines this year. Within a few more years, it wants the operation to be almost entirely automated, creating a so-called “dark factory.” The idea is that with so few people around, you could switch the lights off and leave the place to the machines.

Chinese university unveils amazingly lifelike robot named “Jia Jia”

April 15, 2016

  • A new interactive robot named Jia Jia was unveiled Friday by the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) in Hefei, capital of east China’s Anhui Province. “Jia Jia” looks very much like a real woman and can speak English and Mandarin Chinese.

China’s robotic exoskeleton to be put into production


  • A China-developed robotic exoskeleton, which can help disabled people to walk again, will be put into production this year, its developer announced Friday. Chengdu-based Center for Robotics at University of Electronic Science and Technology of China has been developing robotic exoskeleton since 2010, which is a wearable robot that can be clasped on one’s waist and legs to help with walking and movement.

Kids are the future of China’s robotics industry

Feb 12, 2016

  • Robotics is a centerpiece of China’s quest to upgrade its industrial production and address a labor shortage. At the moment, the mainland’s market for robots is still dominated by big international names like ABB Group and Kuka Robotics Corp., but China is offering incentives to encourage domestic robot makers to catch up.

China’s robot revolution could be threat to human workforce

5 February 2016

  • China’s robot revolution is on the rise. Whether they entertain, serve food, pack methodically or work to assemble cars, robotics have become a part of life in China. But their efficiency is becoming a threat with fears that robots will replace human labour in factories in the next decade.

Development of robotic manufacturing in China

Jan 28, 2016

  • RBD Technology’s plant is located in Dongguan, an important industrial city in China’s Pearl River Delta. Some 700 machines are working day and night processing screens for smartphones. RBD Technology has 1,700 employees and manages an output worth some 20 million yuan per month. The need for a large number of workers has kept costs high, so the company is increasingly turning to robots.

Battle of the machines: Chinese robot makers take on foreign peers


  • As China embraces automation, the wide technology gap between local and foreign robot makers is narrowing slowly but surely In a glitzy exhibition hall in Beijing, an extraordinary Tai chi show is on. The performers are a martial arts master in spotless white robes and-wait for it-an industrial robot.

’Robotic journalist’ begins work in central China

Jan 27, 2016

  • During the two sessions of Central China’s Hubei Province, a robot in the conference hall attracted much attention. It was no ordinary robot, but was working as a journalist for a local television broadcaster. It was capable of making simple conversation with interviewees, recording their comments, before sending the raw materials back to HQ .

Robots Transforming China, Causing Heartburn at World Economic Forum

25 January 2016

  • Shenzhen Evenwin Precision Technology Company, located in China’s Pearl River Delta (dubbed “The World’s Workshop”), has nearly completed the first stage of turning its plant that produces mobile phone components into one of the world’s first nearly 100-percent robot-operated factories. According to the company’s chairman, Chen Xingai, “The use of industrial robots will help the company to reduce the number of frontline workers by at least 90 percent. When all 1,000 industrial robots are put into operation … we will only need to recruit fewer than 200 software technicians and management personnel.”

China: Watch as robo-chefs whip up ramen in 90 seconds

Jan 15, 2016

  • Diners at the Toyako Robot Ramen restaurant in Shanghai’s Hongkou district were treated to a unique culinary experience on Friday as they tucked into ramen cooked up by two robotic chefs. The robo-chefs can cook four different kinds of ramen, including braised beef, beef, fish fillet and seafood, and cost the restaurant’s owner Liu Jin 1 million yuan ($152,000/€139,652) to install.

‘Workshop of the World’ China Bets on a Robot Revolution

Dec 23 2015

  • China will soon be home to more than one-third of the world’s latest robots as the automation revolution takes root in the manufacturing powerhouse. Global brands have long relied on China’s large, cheap labor force to sew, weld and solder products exported abroad. But humans are now increasingly making way for robots on factory floors across the country.

Russia and China are building highly autonomous killer robots

Dec. 15, 2015

  • Russia and China are creating highly autonomous weapons, more commonly referred to as killer robots, and it’s putting pressure on the Pentagon to keep up, according to US Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work. During a national-security forum on Monday, Work said that China and Russia are heavily investing in a roboticized army, according to a report from Defense One.

China Wants to Replace Millions of Workers with Robots

December 7, 2015

  • China is laying the groundwork for a robot revolution by planning to automate the work currently done by millions of low-paid workers. The government’s plan will be crucial to a broader effort to reform China’s economy while also meeting the ambitious production goals laid out in its latest economic blueprint, which aims to double per capita income by 2020 from 2016 levels with at least 6.5 percent annual growth. The success of this effort could, in turn, affect the vitality of the global economy.

Chinese Firm Introduces Anti-Terror Robots Amid Increasing Terror Attacks Worldwide

27 November 2015

  • Beijing’s 2015 World Robot Conference introduced three robots that specialize in reconnaissance, armed attack, and disposing small explosives – toy-sized ones that can very well coordinate with one another while in battle.

Robot performs first kidney surgery in China

November 20, 2015

  • A surgical robot in China’s Guangdong province successfully carried out a kidney surgery on a six-year-old boy, a media report said on Friday. The surgery was carried out in the First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou city on November 16, the People’s Daily reported.

Chinese robot makes Guinness world record for walking 134 km

November 1, 2015

  • A China-made quadruped robot today walked its way on to the pages of the Guinness World Records book for covering over 134-km in 54 hours, beating a previous record held by an American robot. Four-legged robot ‘Xingzhe No 1’, made by a research team in southwest China’s Chongqing University of Posts and Telecommunications, circled an indoor track from October 24 to 27, taking 340,000 steps before it had to stop and recharge.

China robot sales to almost triple by 2018: industry group

Oct 16, 2015

  • Sales of robots in China are set to almost triple by 2018, defying a slowdown in the wider economy, the International Federation of Robotics said on Friday. China is trying to modernize its industrial production and has identified robotics as a major area for growth amid labor shortages and fast-rising wages.

Foreign robotics companies find success in China

Sep. 22, 2015

  • The Chinese market is one of the biggest for industrial robots because of its enormous size. The Chinese manufacturing sector employed nearly 100 million people during 2009, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. In comparison, the US manufacturing sector employed 14.2 million people that year.

‘Robo chefs’ dish up the perfect solution | Inquirer Technology

September 15th, 2015

  • High-tech companies have turned Harbin, the capital and largest city of Heilongjiang province in China, into a center for research and development in automated machines. It might seem more like science fiction than science fact, but a Chinese company has been developing a range of “robo chefs” for cafeterias and restaurants. The Haiying Robot Manufacturing Company turns out more than 1,000 automated “cooks” annually, which cost 100,000 yuan (US$15,748) each, at its factory in Harbin.

Robot reporter causes stir among Chinese journalists

Sep 11, 2015

  • A first business report written by a robot has been published in China this week, stoking fears among local journalists that it could make forays into the country’s state-controlled media and threaten their jobs. Chinese social and gaming giant Tencent released its flawless 916-word article via the company’s portal, an instant messaging service that wields much sway in China, the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported on Friday.

194 Chinese robot companies

  • In China, the robotics industry is booming. Companies are deploying thousands of robots in all types of factories, particularly in the auto industry. Chinese companies that manufacture robots and their components are also growing. This article focuses on the robot makers. China is the world’s largest consumer market of industrial robots for the second consecutive year, according to statistics released by the China Robot Industry Alliance (CRIA). Sales in China increased by 54.6% in 2014 to around 57,000 units, 25% of the global total. Data shows that nearly 17,000 units were made in China with a value of $474m, an increase of 60% from 2013.

China becomes world’s largest robots market for second consecutive year


  • China became the world’s largest consumer market of robots for the second consecutive year, according to statistics released by China Robot Industry Alliance (CRIA) lately. The sales of robots in China increased by 54.6 percent in 2014 to around 57,000 units, accounting for 25 percent of global total. Data shows that nearly 17,000 units were made in China with a value approaching 3 billion yuan (about 474 million U.S. dollars),or an increase of 60 percent from 2013.

China sets up first unmanned factory

July 27, 2015

  • A Chinese firm specialising in precision technology has set up the first unmanned factory at Dongguan city where all the processes are operated by robots, regarded as futuristic solution to tide over China’s looming demographic crisis and dependence on manual workers. In the plant, all the processes are operated by computer- controlled robots, computer numerical control machining equipment, unmanned transport trucks and automated warehouse equipment.

Hefei looks to become China’s robot hub


  • The city which hosts the 19th RoboCup Championships, Hefei, capital of East China’s Anhui province, looks to became the country’s robot industry hub. A total of 175 robot teams from 47 different countries and regions are set to compete in the 19th RoboCup World Championships as the five-day event opens in Hefei on Sunday. The ongoing event is the second one ever hosted in China, following the 12th in 2008 in Suzhou city of Jiangsu province.

China: The Consumer Leader of Robots in 2014

Jul 13, 2015

  • By acquiring 56,000 units, which comprises 24.9 percent of total global sales, China has retained its title as the world’s largest market for robotics last year. The year before that, the world saw China’s rise as the biggest robot consumer through the purchase of over one-fifth of the global supply of 178,000 units in 2013. Coming in at the no. 2 spot is South Korea with 39,000 units, followed by Japan, the U.S. and Germany.

Foshan City to Open ‘Robot Supermarket’ in September

Jul 11, 2015

  • Government officials of Foshan City in Guangdong Province have announced on July 10, Friday, plans to open a 20,000-square-meter-plus “robot supermarket” in the city’s Shunde District, the Xinhua News Agency reported. Xuan Ganhua, an official with the local robotics industry area in Shunde, said that the first-of-its-kind center will open to the public in September, and will provide robotics developers a place to exhibit and sell their latest models. The center will also provide a platform for research and development and intellectual property rights (IPR) protection.

For Your Eyes Only: How Robots are Reshaping China’s Economy

July 9, 2015

  • Li is at the forefront of a metamorphosis of Chinese industry from low-end manufacturing to sophisticated production. The world’s biggest drone maker was conceived by students in his laboratories, he runs the national “Robomaster” competition where pupils compete to come up with the next big thing, and he advises Chinese mayors on how to deploy robots in their cities.

China says hello to Mr. Roboto

22 Jun 2015

  • An increasing number of Chinese factories are ditching human workers for machines as a robotic revolution gets underway in the world’s second-largest economy. In the past month, two companies in the southern province of Guangdong, a major manufacturing hub, have reported plans to fill their factory floors with robots.
  • Evenwin Precision Technology is building a factory that will boast more than 1,000 industrial robots, China Daily reported in May. A maker of mobile phone components, Evenwin told the newspaper the move would reduce the number of frontline workers by at least 90 percent.

Alibaba and Foxconn join SoftBank to invest millions in robotic industry

June 18, 2015

  • Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba announced on June 18 its 145 yen ($118 million) investment in SoftBank Robotics Holdings (SBRH), a company that was previously owned by SoftBank and recently launched “Pepper”, the world’s first robot of emotional capability, as reported by China Daily on Thursday. After the investment, Alibaba will hold 20 percent of SBRH’s shares, while Taiwanese technology company Foxconn owns another 20 percent, and SoftBank owns the remaining 60 percent.

Robot Teacher Makes Debut in Chinese University


  • In China’s Jiangxi Province, a robot teacher has debuted to teach lessons at a local university. The teaching robot “Xiaomei” is a product of the Jiujiang University’s research team, which took a month to make. It is the first time for schools in Jiangxi to use a robot teacher.

China accounted for 25% of global industrial robot purchases in 2014

June 6, 2015

  • China accounted for a quarter of global purchases of industrial robots in 2014, according to Mao Weiming, the deputy minister of China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. Mao revealed that sales of industrial robots in China hit 57,000 in 2014, marking a year-on-year increase of 55% and a quarter of global sales, the official Xinhua news agency reports.

Chinese companion ‘robot’ AI Nemo raises over $10M series B

May 13, 2015

  • Chinese tech site Lieyunwang is reporting that A.I. Nemo, a Chinese startup that produces what it calls a “robot companion” for homes, has raised a series B round in excess of US$10 million. The precise sum of the round and its investors include Innovation Works, Lightspeed China Partners, Chengwei Capital, and Foxconn. A.I. Nemo is a hardware startup that produces what it calls a smart robot companion. In actuality, it’s basically a small desktop computer with a very nice webcam and some automated panning abilities. The idea is that you put the thing – which costs RMB 2299 (US$370) – in your home and it’ll help you communicate with family members even when you’re not there. It can do video chats, of course, but it also does things like read aloud text messages, pan to track your kid around the room as they play, and send emergency notifications. It’s being marketed as a way to bring families closer together.

Home appliance makers in China rush to mechanize workforce


  • 2015 will mark a milestone for many home appliances manufacturers in China as they attempt to automate their production lines in order to cope with the the country’s chronic labor problems. Midea plans to invest 800 million-1 billion yuan (US$129-$161 million) in automation projects this year, to be followed by investment of 5 billion yuan (US$806 million) over the next five years, a far cry from the 1 billion yuan (US$161 million) put towards automation investment from 2012-2014, said Wu Shoubao, vice president in charge of the company’s air-conditioner department, according to Shanghai’s China Business News.

Robot makers from China look to expand into global market


  • China is catching up in the robot industry, as reflected in the price cuts by foreign companies, according to Beijing’s Economic Observer. Several foreign robot makers are planning this year to launch SCARA (Selective Compliance Assembly Robot Arm) products, which have maximum lifting capacity of 3 kilograms and are sold at an unprecedented low price of 50,000 yuan (US$8,000), the newspaper said.

China to Start Using Robots in Assembly Line in Guangdong’s First Zero-Labor Factory

May 04, 2015

  • China will soon use robots in assembly lines, as a factory in the country’s manufacturing hub in Guangdong Province has started constructing the city’s first zero-labor factory, the China Daily reported. Everwin Precision Technology Ltd., a private company based in Dongguan, is planning to put 1,000 more robots in use in its first phase of the zero-labor project. The company has already put 100 robots on its assembly line, the report added.

The fembot called Yangyang who can talk and move


  • A new female robot called Yangyang, who can shake your hand and accept a hug, has been unveiled in China. Dressed in a long red coat, the android can move its head, raise its hands and speak. She is the latest advancement in robotics that are becoming all-too-human. The machine was produced at the Yangyang Intelligent Robot Science Service Centre and gave a demonstration at a conference.

Baidu Inc (BIDU) Unveils Multilingual Translation Robot

April 24, 2015

  • Chinese search engine giant Baidu Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ:BIDU) has started showing its innovation capabilities. The company has unveiled the world’s first multilingual translation robot. Baidu’s robot can speak multiple languages, conduct interviews, and do translation work with utmost precision, reports China News Service. The Beijing-based company showcased it at the 10th annual meeting of China’s electronic and information technology industry.
  • Named ‘Xiaodu,’ the robot helped the host interview international guests. Attendees at the event were surprised by its fast, accurate and fluent translation. Baidu combined its speech recognition and translation technology to give Xiaodu exceptional multilingual translation skills. The search engine company developed the robot in collaboration with Zhejiang University, Tsinghua University, and Harbin Institute of Technology.

The Automation of China’s Labor Force

April 22, 2015

  • The robotics industry is on the cusp of revolutionizing the way business is conducted in China; and the world. With China expected to have the most industrial robots operating in production plants worldwide by 2017, foreign investors should take note. China currently holds the title of the world’s largest market in the sale of industrial robotics, but lacks robotic density. With only 30 robots per 10,000 employees (in manufacturing industries), China is a step behind Japan, Germany and North America. Four out of five industrial robots in China have been made by foreign manufacturers and foreign investors have flocked to China to create their own production lines, including four of the largest foreign robot manufacturers: ABB, Kuka, Yaskawa, and Funac. Not only is the industry ripe for growth, but the Chinese government is providing incentives such as subsidies and is pushing for a shift from the manufacture of manually assembled low-quality products towards higher-value products that require the precision of automation. Beijing specifically targeted robotics as one of the main sectors for development, hoping to create four to five domestic robotics firms to meet an annual production target of 13,000 robots in China’s five-year economic plan for 2011- 2015.

Changsha research team develops brain-controlled robot


  • A Chinese research team has developed a robot whose movements can be controlled by the human brain, reports the Chinese-language Changsha Evening News. The award-winning team of researchers at the National University of Defense Technology in Changsha, the capital of south-central China’s Hunan province, recently tested the self-made brain-controlled robot, which was able to move forward and backwards and make flexible turns with its body through brainwaves sent from an electrode cap worn by the controller.

Robots offer answer to China’s manufacturing challenges


  • Zhou Daofu, an assistant to the president of MeHow Innovative, a medical equipment maker in Shenzhen, says the minimum wage in the southern megacity has risen to 2,030 yuan (US$326) per month, after increasing by 12%-13% annually in recent years. The rise has forced labor-intensive toy and shoe factories out of business or to move into Vietnam, where labor costs are lower, the newspaper said.
  • In response to the changing labor market, several companies have decided to introduce robotics to their production operations, and local authorities in Guangdong have announced plans to encourage the use of robots. Guangdong announced in March a three-year plan to invest 943 billion yuan (US$151.7 billion) to help local manufacturers upgrade their equipment and adopt robotics.

China’s Guangdong province invests billions in robot factories


  • Guangdong province, the country’s southern manufacturing base, will invest 943 billion yuan ($152 bln) to replace human laborers with robots within three years, according to the Guangdong provincial government. According to an action plan published on Thursday, Guangdong will push for application of robots in 1,950 companies, starting in industries like automobile, home appliance, textile, electronics and construction materials manufacturing.

China’s Robot Dog Takes A Walk

March 5, 2015

  • Online videos have surfaced showing Chinese engineers testing, and playing around with, the latest Chinese walking robot. The Da Gou robot is a quadruped robotic “mule,” akin to the U.S. military’s “Big Dog” test robot, made by Boston Dynamics. Compared to wheeled supply-carrying robots, quadruped robots are designed to follow infantry into almost any terrain, while carrying up to 660 pounds of supplies, spare parts, ammunition, and even weapons. In the vision of their future use in war, such smart, legged robots would be instructed to accompany specific infantry units, follow the squad leader and even operate autonomously to run supply lines to them in the field, like a cybernetic cross between a mule and homing pigeon.

Manufacturing center Dongguan aims to become China’s robot capital


  • 2015 marks the second consecutive year that robots and automation have taken center stage in Dongguan’s first policy paper of the year, an indication of the direction the manufacturing city is planning to move over the next twelve months. Released Jan. 27, the city government’s “Document No. 1” calls for upping the speed of “replacing human (workers) with robots” at the southern city’s vast production plants.

China to have most robots in world by 2017

Feb 5, 2015

  • Feb 5 (Reuters) – China will have more robots operating in its production plants by 2017 than any other country as it cranks up automation of its car and electronics factories, the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) said on Thursday. Already the biggest market in the $9.5 billion global robot trade — or $29 billion including associated software, peripherals and systems engineering — China lags far behind its more industrialised peers in terms of robot density.

Chinese retiree builds robotic horse

January 28, 2015

  • You just can’t keep an inventive mind down. Su Daocheng — a 60-year-old retiree from Shiyan in the eastern Hubei province of Central China — spends his spare time inventing things. You know, just normal things, like you’d find in any garage — like a helicopter designed for the road or a mechanical elephant.

Robot Serves Ice Cream to Customers in China

Jan 12, 2015

  • An ice cream-making robot has been attracting large crowds at a shopping mall in northeastern China. The robot salesgirl prepares ice cream for customers in a transparent vending machine.

The Robots Are Coming—At least in China Restaurants

December 28, 2014

  • Indeed, Chinese restaurants seem to be embracing robotic technologies with more passion than other countries including the United States. So far, we know of two restaurants that have opted to shift from human to AI labor.
  • In the restaurant, you won’t find a Wall-e replica, but you still get a sense of what the movie is all about since more than 30 of these waiters are all robots! They are the ones responsible for cooking, baking, taking orders, and delivering Chinese food to your table. The restaurant isn’t shabby either since it spans more than 1,500 square meters and accommodates up to 200 customers in any given time.

China poised to be world’s largest industrial robot market


  • China is now poised to be the world’s largest industrial robot market with over 30 robot factories under construction, authorities said. Qu Daokui, deputy director of the State Engineering Research Center for Robotics, said at a forum in Shanghai on Sunday that robotics and the internet will transform global manufacturing, and China is entering a golden decade for the development of domestically produced robots.

In China, high demand for robots but too many robot manufacturers

Oct 28, 2014

  • (Reuters) – China wants domestic companies to buy more locally made robots to lift productivity, but industry insiders have warned its policies are over-stimulating the market and that robot manufacturers were “coming up like mushrooms.”
  • At the same time, both central and local governments are encouraging new domestic players to capture market share from established foreign brands. In its five-year economic plan for 2011-2015, Beijing specifically targeted robotics as a key sector for development, hoping to create four or five domestic robotics “champion” firms to meet an annual production target of about 13,000 robots.

World Robotics 2014 Industrial Robots

  • The People’s Republic of China became the biggest robot market in 2013 regarding annual sales. For the first time ever, the sales figures of Chinese robot suppliers are included in the IFR statistical survey. 36,560 industrial robots were sold in 2013 in China. Thereof, Chinese robot suppliers installed about 9,000 units according to the information from the China Robot Industry Alliance (CRIA). Their sales volume was almost three times higher than in 2012. Foreign robot suppliers increased their sales by 20% in China. Between 2008 and 2013, total supply of industrial robots increased by about 36% per year on average in China.

Over 30 robot factories under construction in China


  • SHANGHAI, Oct. 27 (Xinhua) — China is now the world’s largest industrial robot market with over 30 robot factories under construction, authorities said.
  • However, domestic robots have developed at a rapid speed. There were about 420 robot enterprises in China as of September and more than 30 factories under construction, Qu said.

Robots: The new gamechanger for China’s supremacy in everything, including trade

  • According to the International Federation of Robotics (IFR), China is forecast to lead the robot market in the next three years. While globally, robotics use is expected to increase by around 12-15% in 2015-17, every fifth robot sold in the world in 2013 was installed in China, and at the end of 2017 over 400,000 (20% of global figures) industrial robots will be installed in the factories of China alone (an increase of 25% per year).
  • While robots and IoT will change the way the world perceives China and Chinese products in coming years, robot exports in itself will be a huge market, with China leading the way again. The current market for robot systems (including software) is estimated at $29 billion and is expected to grow at the rate of at least 12-15% per annum and China’s share is rapidly growing.

China surges ahead in development of robotics applications


  • Data from the International Federation of Robotics indicates that in 2013, nearly 37,000 industrial robots were sold to China, accounting for 20% of the total global sales that year. China has replaced Japan as the world’s top market for industrial robots.
  • “In just five to 10 years, intelligent robots might enter our families,” said Yuan Hui, an executive with a Shanghai-based internet company. That is why it is important that robots should be implanted with a Chinese brain, he explained.

Inevitable trend of “robots replacing” manpower


  • Based on sampling survey results issued by departments concerned in Dongguan, nearly 66 percent of enterprises in the city have invested in the “robots replacing man” work in the recent five years, with 92 percent stating to be continuously intensifying investment in the future 2 years or to be ready to carry out the work.
  • According to the latest statistical data issued by Chinese Robot Industry Alliance, the number of industrial robots sold in the Chinese market occupies one fifth of the total amount of the global in 2013 and overpasses that in Japan, ranking the first internationally. International Federation of Robotics predicts that China will have an inventory of 130,000 sets of robots before 2016 and become the largest demander around the globe.

Chinese scientists create robot arm powered by thought that can play rock, paper scissors

26 August, 2014

  • Chinese scientists have equipped a patient with a special robotic arm that she could successfully control – using just the power of her thoughts – to play “rock, paper scissors”. The exciting breakthrough – which marked the first time the Chinese researchers used the gadget on humans, after testing it on monkeys and rats – spells hope for patients without limbs or who lack muscle control.

Robo-cook: android restaurant boots up in China

August 14, 2014

  • Song told the local Modern Times newspaper that each robot costs around 40,000 yuan ($6,500) — roughly equal to the annual salary of a human employee. “The robots can understand 40 everyday sentences. They can’t get sick or ask for vacation. After charging up for two hours they can work for five hours,” he added.

Nabtesco to build robot component plant in China


  • Nabtesco of Japan is to invest about 5 billion yen (US$48.4 million) to build a plant in China to produce core components for industrial robots. The proposed plant could start operating in 2016 with annual production of 100,000 units, reports Japan’s Nihon Keizai Shimbun. Nabtesco said the industrial robot market in China has overtaken the US and Japan, raising the need to set up production site in the country. The company plans to produce high-precision reduction gears for joints in its plant in China. Six such gears are needed for each robot.

Rise of the robots in China’s manufacturing sector


  • Industrial robots are assuming more and more prominence in China as the country’s manufacturing industry is stymied by a severe worker shortage and soaring labor costs. China bought one fifth of the world’s industrial robot output in 2013, overtaking Japan as the biggest buyer of such technology, according to statistics released by the China Robot Industry Alliance recently. Some 36,860 industrial robots were sold in the Chinese market last year, up 36% on an annual basis, according to the alliance.

Human-robot technology takes quantum leap


  • Robots designed by the University of Science and Technology of China amazed the audience and won the championship for the first time at the RoboCup, which concluded on Friday in Joao Pessoa, Brazil. Recognized for their stability and precision, the robots of USTC’s WrightEagle team – dubbed Kejia – won top honors in the RoboCup@Home league, one of several leagues at the global competition, officially known as the 2014 Robot World Cup Initiative.
  • Kejia achieved a historical mark of 8,555 points, 3,600 higher than the second-place team, after running through a set of benchmark tests. The tests are used to evaluate a robot’s abilities in a realistic, non-standardized home environment – the first stage of the competition.

Robotics industry has wooed China’s listed firms


  • Fifty-four Chinese companies listed on China’s A-share market have merged with or invested in firms in the robotics and automation industries as of July 11, of which 80% are first-time investors, reports the Shanghai Securities News.

Service robots may soon be part of Chinese homes


  • Robots are becoming a common sight in factories across China, but an industry leader says that the future for robots could be in the home, where they can help the elderly and disabled people.
  • The service robots aren’t just fun to play with, they can do real work according to the exhibitor of an automated bartender that can serve beer and soft drinks according to a customer’s order. And its manufacturer hopes service robots can become as popular in China as their industrial counterparts. “We are planning ways to promote our service robots. We are hopeful that they will be placed at bus stations, entertainment venues or other public places. They will serve to make life more convenient at places that people always visit,” Hirota Hiroyasu, director of Yaskawa Electric, said.

China: A Rising Robotics Market


  • Robot companies from around the world show confidence in the growing Chinese market at the recent China International Robot Show 2014 in Shanghai. The three-day expo, which ended on Friday, attracted more than 200 companies from over 50 countries and regions, nearly twice as many as last year.

Robots make up for China’s manual labor shortages


  • To solve the problem of chronic labor shortages and soaring labor costs, manufacturers in the Pearl River Delta in southern China are lining their production belts with robots and lining the pockets of the robotics industry with explosive growth, reports the Chinese-language Economic Daily. As a result, Dongguan in Guangdong province, is fast developing into a major robot production base. The robotics base in the city has leaped out of the gates as a number of manufacturers, along with the preparation office at the Songshanhu International Robotic Research Institute, have launched operations there. “The base will focus on robots for use by consumer electronics firms in Dongguan and the Pearl River Delta,” said Li Zexiang, professor at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, who heads the base.

China set to become world’s largest robot market


  • Mounting labor costs in China have stimulated the robot sector and the country is expected to become the world’s largest robot market, reports Shanghai’s China Business News, citing industry sources. Last year, China-made robots accounted for a 13% share in the domestic market, while the country has now surpassed Japan to become the world’s largest buyers of robots as it bought 36,500 units last year, according to the UK’s Economist magazine.

Robot sector draws heavy investment in China


  • Chinese companies have been investing heavily in the robotics sector, which has been tipped for development. The robotics sector is believed to have a brighter outlook than the manufacturing sector, which is grappling with a diminishing cheap labor force, rising production costs and reform, according to Chinese-language news website China Economic Information Net.

Japan over taken by China as top buyer of industrial robots


  • China purchased 36,560 robots last year to surpass Japan as the top buyer of industrial robotics, reports Yicai, the website of Shanghai’s China Business News, citing the latest International Federation of Robotics figures. Japan purchased 26,015 units in 2013, with the US following in third with 23,679. The staggering figures indicate that China bought one in five robots sold globally last year, a 60% growth compared to 2012. It is estimated that the figure will only increase as China had only 23 robots for every 10,000 people employed in the manufacturing industry in 2012, compared with South Korea’s 396.

China set to become world’s largest robot market


  • Industrial robots make up for the rest. This particular assembly line would require 6 to 7 people, but with robots, only one or two are sufficient. Since the beginning of this year, with the worsening labor shortage in east China, an increasing number of manufacturing businesses are adopting industrial robots. Foxcom, in particular, has announced plans to use one million robots. Some small companies as well are also looking at using them. Qian Yongdi is the president of a sanitary appliance company in Zhejiang province. He says, even with a monthly salary of 8,000 yuan, he found it hard to retain a skilled worker on the job. But with industrial robots, he is no longer worried.

Chinese city aims to have 80% of production done by Robots by 2020


  • South China’s economic powerhouse of Guangzhou has set a goal of having 80 percent of the city’s manufacturing production done by robots instead of human labor by 2020.

Use of robots increases in China, may overtake Japan: report


  • China is in the process of becoming the world’s leding operator of industrial robots as an increasing number of its factories turn to mechanical devices to cope with rising labor costs and shortages. The number of industrial robots in use in the country could overtake Japan to be the highest in the world by 2015, reports Japan’s English-language Nikkei Asian Review. In 2005, only 4,500 robots were sold in China but the figure is likely to reach 280,000 this year, which is almost neck and neck with Japan, according to the International Federation of Robotics. The figure may even reach 340,000 units by 2015, around 3,000 higher than Japan’s projected figure.

Chinese University scientists build tiny robot to battle human diseases

13 September, 2013

  • Chinese University researchers say they have designed a micro robot no bigger than a human cell that can carry a payload of drugs much greater than previous models and could replace the risky operations now needed for brain and eye diseases. The cage-like device, 100 microns long and 40 wide, is small enough to be injected into the body without leaving a wound and is guided wirelessly with an electromagnetic field.

How China plans to become a leader in robotics

August 16, 2013

  • While robotics researchers from around the world keenly watch videos of Boston Dynamic’s Bigdog walking freely on uneven and slippery mountain roads, or Honda’s Asimo dancing and hopping on one foot, the Chinese government is also busy establishing similar projects in a more low key fashion (see this PlasticPals YouTube playlist for a sample of what the whole must be). Having visited Chinese laboratories and spoken face-to-face with researchers, I have seen many bold robotics initiatives that are currently underway. One particularly challenging area of development is the humanoid robot, and two of the best robotics laboratories for this are in China at the Beijing Institute of Technology (BIT) and Zhejiang University (ZHU), both of which have succeeded in producing the first humanoid robots that can perform Tai Chi and play ping pong (see here and here). These robots were not specifically designed for game play—they were in fact developed as part of China’s domestic service robots initiative – but Tai Chi and ping pong have helped researchers test their robots’ image processing and dexterity.

Chinese robot wars set to erupt


  • Rising labor costs and an upcoming demographic crisis are driving up demand for ‘automated workers’ in China, as companies strive to retain their competitive edge. He Wei reports from Shanghai. Sun Zhiqiang says the timing of China’s robot spree is perfect for his business. As managing director of Risong Group, an automation company in Guangzhou, Guangdong province that provides robotic systems, Sun’s company has cashed in on the robotics boom during the past two years. Although he declined to provide details, Sun revealed that the company is making almost 20 times the revenue it did when the business started 15 years ago.

1 Million Robots To Replace 1 Million Human Jobs At Foxconn? First Robots Have Arrived.

Nov 12, 2012

  • While consumers began to complain in response to media coverage over working conditions, prompting Apple to hire an audit of the factories, Foxconn’s President Terry Gou had another idea for dealing with labor concerns: replace people with robots. In fact, last year Gou said that the company would be aiming to replace 1 million Foxconn workers with robots within 3 years.

Robot restaurant opens in China’s Harbin


  • A robot carries beers for guests at a restaurant in Harbin, capital of northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province, June 21, 2012. A total of 18 robots with different division of labor serve the meals at the restaurant. (Xinhua/Zhang Qingyun)

Largest robot production base to settle in Tangshan

Mar 8, 2012

  • The construction of China’s largest robot production base will be completed in 2015 in Tangshan, a city in central China’s Hebei Province. One completed, the base will have with an annual output value of 20 billion yuan,according to the Tangshan Robot Industry Development Program published recently,