Haier Enters Service Robot Field with SoftBank Robotics

On March 6, Haier announced its vision of future robots serving ordinary families, and officially entered the field of service robots. Haier also entered a strategic partnership with SoftBank to introduce SoftBank’s humanoid robot “Pepper” into the Chinese market.

The Chinese robot industry has developed rapidly in recent years. China has also been the world’s largest market for robot application for many years. The service robot industry is in a period of fast development in terms of technology and market. Sweeping robots, unmanned aerial vehicles and other single-function service robots have achieved mass production.

However, in many other segments, products still don’t match user needs. In the view of target clients, the single-function service robot is far from satisfactory in task complexity, product compatibility and environment adaptability.

Haier hopes to cooperate with SoftBank to introduce advanced humanoid robots into the Chinese market to advance relevant industries.

In the strategic partnership, the two sides will jointly develop smart retail and smart home solutions based on its sg.ehaier.com and U+ platforms. The two sides will develop robotic interaction, operation and mobility, and incorporate robots into applicable scenarios, such as home and retail outlets.

Wang Ye, vice president of Haier Household Appliances Industry Group and general manager of Haier Advanced R&D Department, said that service robots are a natural extension of, and effective complement to, Haier’s smart home strategy. In the future, service robots are expected to become the optimal interactive platform connecting IoT appliances and users within a vast market space.

This article originally appeared in NetEase Tech and was translated by Pandaily.