Robotics Part 2

How DIY became a driving force of China’s robot revolution

1 May 2017

  • Growing up in a farming village in central China, Jasen Wang’s childhood was far removed from the worlds of Lego, RoboSapiens and other toys designed to introduce young minds to the world of robotics. It was not until the age of 20 that Wang first put his hands on a robot, as part of a college competition. That epiphany sparked an obsession with robotics that put Wang on the road to creating Makeblock, a five-year-old start up near Hong Kong that now sells millions of dollars worth of do-it-yourself robotics kits and related products.

Inside China’s Plans for World Robot Domination

April 24, 2017

  • Scenes from China’s quest to dominate the robotic future: At startup E-Deodar, a human-looking droid serves coffee to employees who are building $15,000 industrial bots that are about a third cheaper than foreign brands and are being used to automate assembly lines across the Pearl River Delta manufacturing hub. Some 1,900 kilometers (1,200 miles) to the north, inside a lab at Beijing-based e-commerce giant Inc., a spider-like robot plunges down from its frame, seizes a book on a conveyor belt with its suctioned claws and hurls it into a crate. The machine can sort 3,600 objects an hour, four times as many as a person — just one piece of the robotic technology the company’s developing to automate warehouses.

Squishy robotic manta ray flaps its wings to spy in the ocean

5 April 2017

  • It’s a drone of the deep. A soft-bodied robot that swims like a manta ray has been engineered to spy on underwater creatures without disturbing them. The mostly transparent robot has no motor or other rigid machinery and is much faster than other soft robotic fish. The goal is to use the robot to explore underwater areas, says Tiefeng Li at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China. It could be used to investigate a submerged ship or plane wreck, or survey coral reefs. “The soft body will make it easy for the robot to sneak through reefs without damaging them,” he says.

Massive investment planned in ‘Made-in-China’ industrial robots

27 February, 2017

  • China has seen rapid growth in its research and development spending due to strong demand of reducing labour costsand increasing productivity, which should help further the country’s automation sector, according to analysts. A working paper from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) showed just how fast China’s innovation input, measured by R&D (research and development) expenditure, increased by an average 22 per cent annually from 1998 to 2013, reaching US$190 billion in 2013.

Cops of the Future: First Security Robots to Patrol China’s Rail Station


  • The patrol robot, on duty at Zhengzhou East Railway Station since February 17, can scan passengers’ faces and respond to questions. Painted in black and white, the robotic patrolman moves around on wheels. Using a number of sensors it monitors air quality, temperature, guards the station during the night and can even set off the fire emergency alarm.

China’s medical robots take on foreign rivals


  • Surgeon Tian Wei came across one of the most challenging orthopedic surgeries in his 30-year career in 2015. A 43-year-old patient had complained of progressive numbness in the limbs on his right side for 14 months, caused by a deformity in his upper cervical vertebrae. The patient was in dire need of surgery to implant a screw to help support his neck bone, but the operation was risky. Any minor mistake could lead to paralysis or a life-threatening hemorrhage. Many hospitals were unwilling to treat him.

Meet China’s newest police recruit: Robotic traffic officer is stationed at crossroads to catch jaywalkers

26 January 2017

  • A Chinese city started using a robotic traffic policeman to catch jaywalkers yesterday. The droid, stationed at a crossroad in the city of Xiangyang, central China’s Hubei Province, has been programmed to stop and tell off pedestrians who run the red lights. Local authority hoped that the robotic traffic officer could help correct Chinese people’s bad habits while crossing roads.

Robotic surgery transformed

23 January, 2017

  • Describing the team’s breakthrough, Prof. Yung remarked, “We are delighted to note that this PolyU engineering innovation will help turn a new page in minimally invasive surgery, thus enhancing the well-being of patients.” Yet the team is also well aware that the development process is not over yet, with very important feedback being received from surgeons and used to further optimise the system. Animal trials have validated the system’s functionality and benefit in gall bladder removal in a live pig, with the latest operation taking less than an hour.

China’s Midea receives U.S. green light for Kuka takeover

Dec 30, 2016

  • China’s Midea (000333.SZ) said it will complete its takeover of German robotics maker Kuka (KU2G.DE) in the first half of January after the United States authorities gave the deal a green light.

The rise of China’s medical robotics sector

December 22, 2016

  • According to a report by GCiS in 2016, the Chinese medical robots market is valued at RMB 791million, up 34.4% from 2015. By 2021, the medical robot sector is projected to grow to at least RMB 2.2billion. From surgical to rehabilitation and homecare, robots look set to transform parts of the nation’s healthcare industry. Robots will reshape secondary care, tertiary care, even primary, home and community care. Already, surgical robots are assisting the nation’s surgeons in some high-end hospitals, and accomplishing more precise, less invasive procedures. And the sales of rehabilitation robots have boomed as hospitals improve their rehabilitation units (in keeping with government policy). But the medical robots industry in China is still emerging, with many domestic players still in the product development and clinical testing stage.

Warfare of the Future: Chinese Combat Biomorphic Robots Caught on Video


  • Chinese military biomorphic robots resembling animals were spotted in a video which found its way to the Internet, Russian newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta reported. Taking part in the contest were 73 teams from special research institutes and industrial enterprises, including the Engineering Academy of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s Armored Forces, National Defense University, the China North Industries Corporation NORINTO and Beijing University of Technology.

Behold A Robot Hand With A Soft Touch

December 11, 2016

  • Such a soft robot hand is a step forward for the growing field of soft robotics — the kind of technology that’s already used in warehouses to handle food or other products. But it also holds promise for better prosthetics, robots to interact directly with people or with fragile objects, or robots to squeeze into tight spaces. Now, it just has to be something that can conduct light, says Huichan Zhao, a doctoral candidate in mechanical engineering at Cornell who is the lead author of the research article about the new soft robot hand, published this month in the journal Science Robotics.

BERNSTEIN: China’s insane spending on robotics is fundamentally changing capitalism

Dec. 5, 2016

  • Analysts Michael W. Parker and Alberto Moel argue that Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations, the foundational textbooks of economics, is becoming redundant because of two trends: the rise of robotics and China’s modernising economy. Bernstein’s central argument is that manufacturing jobs are effectively disappearing globally, replaced by robots. China is leading the way but the trend is global and it means promises made by politicians like Donald Trump to bring overseas industries back to America are unlikely to benefit working people generally.

Smart ‘robot fish’ invented to explore underwater world


  • A team at Lanzhou Petrochemical Polytechnic has invented a smart “robot fish” that can explore underwater realms, reported on Wednesday. The robotic fish utilizes many advanced technologies, including mechanical electronics, sensors and artificial intelligence. It can be used for pipeline detection, hydrology, water quality monitoring, underwater rescue and more. The robot has won a number of prizes for its sophisticated craftsmanship and advanced technology.

China banking on robots to address labor costs

November 20, 2016

  • With factory output having plateaued and their home economy slowing, Chinese companies are keen to replace wage-earners with robots and save on rising labor costs. One sportswear maker and exporter in Shandong Province agreed to a 5% wage hike this year. A 33-year-old executive said the company had no choice but to raise pay to retain the employees it has trained.

Developing Countries, China and Advanced Countries are in a robot and automation race to lower manufacturing costs

November 13, 2016

  • A UN report outlines how the increasing use of industrial automation is impacting jobs in developing countries, and what strategies may help in overcoming the problem. Advanced countries, China and developing countries all have to add more automation and robots and the supporting infrastructure and education in order to enable lower manufacturing costs

Robots at center of China’s strategy to leapfrog rivals

October 24, 2016

  • The Canbot can say its name, respond to voice commands, and “dance” as it plays Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean.” Other robots China is displaying at the World Robot Conference can play badminton, sand cell phone cases and sort computer chips. China is showcasing its burgeoning robot industry at the five-day exhibition in Beijing, part of a national effort to promote use of more advanced technologies in Chinese factories and create high-end products that redefine the meaning of “Made in China.”

More Robots to Be Produced in Tianjin by 2020

Oct 15, 2016

  • The robotics industry in Tianjin is expected to produce a total of 60,000 robots annually, which is worth about 12 billion yuan ($1.8 billion) by 2020, according to a forecast by the Tianjin Municipal Commission of Industry and Information Technology. Robots made in Tianjin have attracted much attention that last month, an underwater robot made by a local company that cleans the bottom of ships, won a prize at an innovation contest and became popular, China Daily reported.

China’s first robot exoskeleton unveiled in Chengdu


  • The first robot exoskeleton in China, AIDER, has officially been released lately in Chengdu of southwest China’s Sichuan province, The Paper reported. The robot exoskeleton has been developed by the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China based in Chengdu, and can be worn by its users, aiming to help disabled people walk independently.

AnBot the Chinese Robot Patrols Airport Armed with a Taser

Sep 25, 2016

  • This tin can cop, however, is armed with a taser that zaps suspects with at least 50,000 volts of electricity, and that’s no laughing matter.

Industrial internet: ABB signs deal with Huawei to develop robotics and automation solutions

September 25, 2016

  • Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei has signed a memorandum of understanding with ABB to robotics and automation technologies, including solutions for the power generation sector. Under the deal, agreed at the Huawei Connect event earlier this month, the two parties will integrate Huawei LTE-based OneAir products and technologies into ABB robots and industrial automation solutions.

China Moves Forward Toward Robotics Industry, Forms Merger with German Company

Sep 17, 2016

  • An announcement was released recently by the Midea Group stating the merger of the Chinese company and Kuka, a German-owned company and one of the prominent players in the robotics industry. Midea is a consumer appliance giant in China. Midea Group acquired more than 90 percent of Kuka’s shares with a multi-billion euro offer, according to the announcement. The merger was highly criticized in Germany as critics said that the company sold out to the Chinese company and losing German-made technology.

This Robotic Tank Wants To Kill Mosquitoes With A Laser

September 14, 2016

  • Rotor wrote up the Laser Movable Mosquito Killer Robot for Quill or Capture, a blog covering odds-and-ends that fall on the periphery of Shephard Media’s usual defense coverage. This bug-killing robot is made by LeiShen, a Chinese company that makes laser navigation tools for home robots. Rotor reports:

Brunell: China betting on advanced robots

September 6, 2016

  • China has a new industrial strategy which is capturing attention worldwide. It is striving to become an innovation economy using advanced automation, connected robots and artificial intelligence. According to the International Federation of Robotics, the Chinese are creating an “industrial internet” which gathers information and uses it across manufacturing networks, including suppliers and customers.