Humanoid robots with the appearance of Chinese Tang Dynasty (618-907) poets Li Bai and Du Fu have been a hit at the ongoing 2023 World Robot Conference (WRC).
“Their body shapes and expressions look natural. They simulate the voices and actions of real people and interact with the audience. They have already been utilized in many fields including culture, tourism and education,” said Zheng Yaxin, an official with EX Robots.
The seven-day event began on Wednesday in Beijing, featuring the participation of around 160 robot enterprises from around the world. These companies showcased nearly 600 sets of robots, with 60 of them making their world debut at the event.
Xin Guobin, vice minister of industry and information technology, said, “The robot industry represents advanced manufacturing and is leading human society to an intelligent era, boosting world economic development and improving the well-being of mankind.”
According to the International Federation of Robotics, the global installed capacity of industrial robots in 2022 registered a historical high of 531,000 units. The economies in North America, Asia and Europe have integrated robots into social life, demonstrating their remarkable vitality.
In the exhibition areas of Realman Intelligent Technology (Beijing) Co., Ltd. at the WRC, many visitors experienced a robot massage, which relaxes the muscles on the back and shoulders.
“The robot’s visual sensor can identify people’s physical characteristics. It then uses this information to generate the massage trajectory. With proper control of pressure and temperature, the robot arm conducts the massage operation,” said Chao Jiaqi, a marketing director of Realman Intelligent Technology (Beijing).
Chao added, “Realman has suppliers and distributors in many countries including Germany, Japan and the United States. We also have close cooperative relations with Sony and Siemens.”
Chee Fai Tan, president of ASEAN Smart Industry Confederation, said that the robot can carry out high-precision work while simultaneously improving productivity. It has been widely applied in manufacturing and agriculture to aid the lives of many people.
The multi-arm fruit-picking robot was also eye-catching at the WRC, which enabled the audience to have a direct understanding of modern and intelligent agricultural development.
“The robot arm and the fruit-picking devices are capable of automatically picking and storing 400 to 500 pieces of fruit per hour. To enhance efficiency, it works around the clock and has the ability to minimize fruit damage significantly,” said Li Tao, a staffer with the research project of multi-arm fruit-picking robot.
The robot has been applied in Beijing and east China’s Shandong Province, which plans to further expand to overseas markets like the United States and Australia, Li noted.
Swiss technology and engineering firm ABB Group showcased its collaborative robot arm at the conference. Du Haiquan, a sales consultant with ABB, said, “China has a huge market potential. The ABB factory in Shanghai is set to provide quality products with advanced techniques for the Chinese market and the Asian-Pacific region.”
Jose Vieira, president of World Federation of Engineering Organizations, also emphasized the importance of coordinated development of countries around the world, “We are delighted to see the robot industry contribute to a sustainable future.”
“The robot industry will continue to make breakthroughs in more scenarios and bring benefits for our people,” said Chen Ying, secretary-general of Chinese Institute of Electronics.
In 2022, the operating income of China’s robot industry exceeded 170 billion yuan (about 23 billion U.S. dollars). Xin noted, “Robots should play a vital role in resolving the common challenges in this world, such as the climate change, healthcare and food security, to make more people worldwide live a better life in the future.”