Xin Guobin, Vice Minister of China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said at the 2022 World Robotics Congress on August 19 that the financing of China’s robot industry has continued to be active, and the field has gradually formed a pattern of coordinated development of industry and capital. In the first half of 2022, China’s robot industry has garnered cumulative financing exceeding 5 billion yuan ($734 million).
According to the Chinese National Bureau of Statistics, in 2021, the country produced 366,000 industrial robots, up 68% year-on-year, and 9.214 million service robots, up 47% year-on-year. The market scale of special robots is also growing steadily. In 2022, the number of industrial robots installed reached a record high of 487,000 units.
Xin believes that the R&D and application of AI, sensing technology, and intelligent bionic material technology all provide assistance for the development of robots, while the development of sensing technology promotes the upgrading of robot perception ability from single-module to multi-module perception. The application of these research results will also greatly improve robots’ accurate perception abilities.
New products are also emerging in this field. In February of this year, a soft robot developed by China successfully explored the Mariana Trench, realizing deep diving and driving at 10,900 meters under the sea. In addition, more and more innovative robots are being put into pandemic prevention and control work, such as nucleic acid sampling, disinfection and material distribution.
Robots are accelerating in their evolution from anthropomorphic robots to humanoid robots, as more and more begin to replace human beings in complex work environments. For example, humanoid space robots have been able to flexibly use electric drills, wrenches and other tools, which can replace astronauts in completing dangerous work.
The application range of robots is also expanding. Industrial robots are growing from the simple operation of loading and unloading goods in the past to the precision processing scenarios with high precision and high sensitivity such as assembly, grinding and polishing. As for service robots, JD.com, Meituan, Walmart, Amazon and other enterprises have launched unmanned distribution robots.
At the same time, Chinese enterprises are cooperating with overseas enterprises to establish R&D centers. In addition, technology enterprises in the fields of internet and smart cars are constantly participating in the development of the robot industry.