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China Daily: AI and intelligent robot mutually promoting and developing together

Artificial intelligence has never been integrated so closely into robotics, as domestic competitors on the market are gearing up to be at the forefront in the race towards a smarter and more automated journey.

Wang Peng, vice-general manager at the marketing division of Shenzhen-based Qihan Technology Co, said as AI tackles learning, perception, problem-solving, logical reasoning and many other related issues, the new technology will absolutely make robots smarter.

“AI technologies can enable robots to mimic some level of human intelligence, such as the ability of perception and thinking. And the artificial intelligent robot will be the best carrier for AI technologies.”

“The AI-enabled robots are able to assist in humans’ daily work, enabling people to spend their energies on more creative jobs, such as art and education.”

With multiple patents in several fields, including robotics and AI, Qihan Technology focuses on the developing the commercialization of AI-enabled service robots. Founded in 2006, the company now aims to use next-generation robotics and AI technologies to improve quality of life and business productivity for consumers.

Wang said the company is working on expanding its portfolio of “robotics-as-a-service” solutions. Thanks to the open application program interface platform, the Sanbot service robot, powered by Qihan Technology, can be customized for different scenarios in many fields, including retail, hospitality, education and healthcare.

During the World Robot Conference held in Beijing last month, Qihan unveiled new intelligent, cloud service robots called Sanbot King Kong. The 1.5-meter high humanoid robot features bionic arms, advanced navigation and is able to carry 75-kilograms. Equipped with a four-wheel drive system, the Sanbot King Kong can move at up to five meters per second, exceeding the average human walking speed.

Qian Dongqi, chairman of the Suzhou-based Ecovacs Robotics Co said as a new era of AI is coming, there will be infinite possibilities to develop the humanoid service robots.

“The AI technologies will enable more abilities for the robots, and the robots can provide the best application scenarios for the AI. And I believe a qualified robot must be equipped with AI.”

Wang, agreed, saying the company will work with more partners to build a better environment for developers and then enable more robot applications on the market.

Posted in intelligent service robots

Robot is one key factor of the world’s intellectualization

A report in Nikkei Asian Review said about 90 percent of the personal robots on display at the IFA consumer electronics trade show, which was held in Berlin earlier this month, were developed and manufactured by Chinese companies.

Sensing the surging demand for such products and systems in industries like healthcare, education and entertainment, China is targeting intelligent service robots worth more than 30 billion yuan by 2020.

Qu Daokui, president of Shenyang-based Siasun Robot & Automation Co, said, “Chinese robot makers must go global. The industry is so globalized and changing so fast that no one knows what a robot will look like in five to seven years. If we only stick our eyes to the home turf, we will die out,” Qu said.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, China is now on a par with foreign countries in voice- and image-recognition technologies, which are key to making advanced AI robots.

Also, about 50 percent of domestic robots are equipped with homegrown servomotors, a key element of sophisticated automated machines. This ability overcomes certain technological bottlenecks that have been impeding the industry’s development for a while.

Wang Tianmiao, president of the Smart Manufacturing Research Institute at Beihang University, said technological progress is helping accelerate the global expansion of Chinese robot makers. “But greater international cooperation on R&D is needed to crack the high-end overseas market,” Wang said.

Mounting enthusiasm for broader international cooperation was in evidence at the 2017 World Robot Conference in Beijing in August.

Vice-Premier Liu Yandong said at the event’s opening ceremony, “We will step up efforts to foster closer cooperation with other countries, focusing on robotics R&D, training, and how to better integrate artificial intelligence technologies into innovative AI robotics.”

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Expert: China is to lead the world in robotics

To be at the forefront of the next technological revolution, China is committed to cooperate with more countries and will be able to lead the world in several fields of robotics in the next five to ten years, said Toshio Fukuda, a member of the Science Council of Japan.

“China is a gold mine for innovation and technologies and has large markets for innovative AI robotics,” he said. “With the supportive policies, abundant resources provided by both the government and the companies and more forms of cooperation, China will catch up within a few years and then overtake other developed countries to take the top spot in many fields of robotics.”

He said during the World Robot Conference in Beijing last month that China is now at a new phase with the ability to produce its original robots, and will be able to lead the world in manufacturing robots and making intelligent service robots in the future.

“Particularly in China, there will be a huge market for services robots that assist people in improving the living conditions, such as the cleaning robots, care robots for the elderly and kids and the data logging robots for healthcare.

“After decades of economic boom and development, Chinese people now are sufficiently affluent to be able to afford a better quality of life. And I believe that in the near future, those service robots would be able to cater to people’s specific needs and bring much more value than we thought today.”

In 2015, China introduced the Made in China 2025 strategy, a 10-year national plan to transform the country into a world-class high-tech manufacturing power. The plan aims to move manufacturing up on the value chain, developing several key sectors, including robotics.

With the rapid development in robotics in recent years, China is becoming an increasingly important market for advanced AI robots.

The International Federation of Robotics estimates that China’s shipments of robots rose 27 percent to around 90,000 units in 2016, almost a third of the global total. And the number is expected to almost double to 160,000 in 2019.

Fukuda said Japan and China should cooperate together in developing and producing the necessary robots for consumers. Chinese robot companies should grasp the opportunity, he said.

“The competition in artificial intelligent robotics will be very fierce. Instead of being locked in a competitive environment in first-tier cities like Beijing and Shanghai, companies should find new niche markets and even target small towns,” he said.

Posted in robotics in healthcare

Health care robot to be the new Blue Ocean around the world

With the increasing global aging and rising medical demand, the development of assistant robots is taking the fast lane. In fact, the market expectations of entire service robot industry in recent years are constantly good. The global market size is expected to reach 82 billion US dollars by 2021.

Doug Moore, the senior manager of human assistant technical department of Toyota, which released Human Support Robot, pointed out that, Toyota is trying to diversify the lives of people with disabilities by increasing their mobility, including the development of technical solutions to assist the limited action. The research and development of HSR and the tests of Romy are the company’s business development areas to help people with disabilities control their own lives. Except for Toyata, Teijin Japan and Panasonic also start the research and development of robotics in healthcare.

Similar to the situation in Japan, China is also facing increasing social problems such as increased aging and the increasing proportion of people with disabilities. As can be expected, with time going, in the future we need to invest a lot of manpower and material resources to care for the elderly and the disabled, and this will become an important burden of our country. If we can provide a number of care robots for the elderly dedicated to nursing work, this will not only improve the quality of their lives, but also ease the current national and social pressures.

As a result, the huge market outlook is driving the rapid growth of sales of home robots such as assistant robots. Recently, the industry research institutions analysis International released the report shows that in 2016 China’s service robot market reached 7.29 billion yuan, a substantial increase of 44.6% year on year. In addition, analysis International predicts that the next three years, China’s service robot market will continue to grow, the size of 2019 is expected to close to 15.2 billion. In the whole world, the compound annual growth rate of intelligent service robots for the next five years (2017-2021) is about 16.19 percent, and the global service robot market will reach $ 82 billion by 2021.

The booming market is expected to show that the development of robots, especially home-assisted personal use, is very promising. Therefore, with the global aging further intensified, escort, education, medical and other needs of the rising, the service robot will continue to maintain rapid development, to promote social changes in various fields.

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The current and future situation of intelligent service robot

The data mining and analysis iiMedia Research released “2016 China Robot Industry Research Report” shows that the sales of service robots will reach 34.9 million units by 2018. And, Chinese government released the robot industry development plan (2016 – 2020), manifesting the robot industry will be officially promoted to national strategy.

At present, economic and technological development and social civilization are the background of the birth of the artificial intelligent robots. When the industrialization level has been improving rapidly, the scientific and technological development has been accelerating and the value of the labor force has been continuously improving. Thus, human being’s repetitive workload need to be overtaken urgently.

In recent years, the application of robots has gradually shifted from the industrial field to the fields of cleaning, education, patients and elderly health care and home service. The innovative AI robotics has developed rapidly. The development of service robot is expected to provide new economic growth and driving force for the development of the national economy.

China’s population over 60 years has exceeded 10% of the total population, the aging population will become China’s unprecedented challenges. In addition, the proportion of the disabled in China is among the highest in the world. In the near future, care for the elderly and the disabled will be an important burden for society, requiring a large number of robotics in healthcare to provide services to help care for the daily life of the elderly and the disabled. All these are to improve their quality of life, thereby reducing the overall number of social workers and the quality of the demand.

Education requirement for intelligent educational robots will form a huge market. At president and during the promotion of quality education, general education, research university model, the promotion of educational robot courses, hands-on assembly and programming practice can expand the young people’s logical thinking ability, this entertaining plus education new model has become an effective means and tools for hi-tech education.

At the same time, China’s overall objective situation is demanding pre-school education more and more. With the vigorous development of the domestic pre-school market, pre-school education and entertainment robot for 3-6 year-old children will also have a huge market space.

In the future, intelligent service robots are expected to offer a large quantity of services in the fields of education, catering, shopping guide and so on with the continuous improvement of voice interaction and semantic understanding technology, etc. When the hi-tech giants are deploying and the new players continue to emerge the intelligent service robot industry, only the enterprises with ongoing technology upgrades and product updates service robot in order to stand out in the industry history.

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Service robot needs to be more ingenious

From family services to education and entertainment, from medical surgery to elderly health care, from scientific investigation to rescue, intelligent service robots are going into all aspects of our lives. Yesterday, 2017 International Summit of Service Robot Industry was held, many domestic and foreign large specialists gathered together to explore the development of the robot industry. They said that robots from China need to further improve the “IQ” and “emotional intelligence”, learning to more ingenious.

At the summit, the specialists unveiled the development direction: light-weight, flexibility and intelligence. They pointed out, “Intelligent robots’ accurate movements and actions cannot meet the requirement of the society, and they need to be more ingenious. The flexible functions are Cloud fused actual intelligent services are required.”

At present, Chinese intelligent robot has potential markets and the demands are higher. “With the evolutions of the demographic structure and production mode, China’s demand for robots continued to grow substantially in the future, and hundreds of thousands of non-skilled robots will go into our work and lives.” Deputy Director of MIIT Luo Junjie said, because of the lack of artificial intelligence, the robots in the markets are not ingenious enough and need to further enhance. “More advanced voice recognition, visual recognition, emotional recognition and other functions are needed to enrich robot perception and movement, breaking the current cognitive limitations.”

Chen Xiaoping, the Dean of Research Center of University of Science and Technology of China, introduced that, with the dozen-year’s development, the accuracy of the robots’ “Machine + Control Technology” is developing very well and the thick and blunt images are changing with new material’s applications. “Light-weight + Flexibility” make robot application break the traditional industry manufacturing and be introduced into family, finance and health care areas.

Mr. Song Xiaogang, the Executive Director of the China Robot Industry Alliance, introduced that the robot, artificial intelligence, communication technology and mechanical control technology, given the robot voice, visual and touch, real-time response to the command, accurate reflection. This makes robot adapt to the rich areas of service and complex needs and is the focus of the future direction of development. “The global advanced AI robots have a big market with tens of billions of dollars, and robots, especially service robots, are becoming the new blue ocean of manufacturing,” he said.

“In the future, we hope that robots can achieve ’emotional interaction’ with humans.” Peter Sincak, director of the Department of Control and Intelligent Sciences at the Kosice Institute of Technology in Slovakia, argues that robots need to improve “emotional intelligence”, such as escort robots should gain the patient’s mood and choose the appropriate topic to release them from the pressure; or the intelligent educational robots, should also be based on the students’ movements, eyes or words, to timely adjust the lectures and activate students’ mood.

Posted in Sanbot robot

Sanbot robots played great roles at Global Innovator Conference

2017 Global Innovator Conference (GIC) was recently held in Shenzhen. The organizer invited the Chief Scientist of Hanson Robotics and General Artificial Intelligence Association Chairman Ben Goertzel, 2007 Nobel Peace Prize co-winner Wood · Clark and other well-known innovators on artificial intelligence, large data, precision medical, clean energy, intelligent manufacturing and many other topics to share innovative ideas. Artificial Intelligence Robot Han, Baidu’s Small Robot and QIHAN’s Sanbot Elf robot also attended the Global Innovator Conference. Sanbot robot played great roles at the event.

Compared to the bright stars of the global innovator lineup, the “black technologies” from the artificial intelligence star enterprises were more eye-catching.

At the entrance, as the autonomous robot security guard, Sanbot Elf monitored and guarded the special innovation products and experience area for 24 hours per day. All the guests first met the mighty Sanbot King Kong intelligent robot and they could be allowed to enter the room after scanning the electronic code; and its partner Sanbot Elf robot is responsible for the follow-up reception work.

The artificial intelligent products and intelligent robot with all kinds of shapes and functions showed that they would be the key parts in people’s lives.

It is true that the manufacturer and supplier of Sanbot robot is the practitioner of the “Wisdom Earth”. Taken the Sanbot King Kong robot as one sample, this robot integrates machine visual recognition, Multi-axis automatic control, big data analysis, which gained over 200 patents. Sanbot King Kong is capable of 5m/s walking speed and carrying 75kg cargo. While, QIHAN Technology hope the scenario is more imaginative, so the company open the technical standards of Sanbot robot and offer SDK and service document to attract the global developers and integrators, energizing intelligent service robots going to various industries.

The two-day Global Innovator Conference has closed. During the conference, 800 representatives from over 15 countries & areas shared their innovation achievements and experience. As far as we know, the conferences are held together by the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, China Chamber of International Commerce, ABAC and CITIC Group, aiming to promote G20 to participate the technology innovation cooperation and practice the blueprint of G20’s innovation growth and action plan.