China unveils guidelines for humanoid robotics development
The guidelines are part of China’s broader strategy to become a global leader in humanoid robotics, which has seen rapid progress in recent years.
China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has issued guidelines for the development of humanoid robotics, aiming at establishing an innovation system for humanoid robotics by 2025.
The guidelines are part of China’s broader strategy to become a global leader in humanoid robotics, which has seen rapid progress in recent years. By 2025, the goal is to develop two to three global leaders, a group of specialized small and medium-sized firms, and two to three industrial clusters.
Beijing wants robotics products to reach advanced levels and achieve mass production by 2025.
China’s tech giants, such as Baidu, Xiaomi, and Tencent-backed UBTECH Robotics Inc., have already entered the humanoid robot market, recognizing its massive potential. UBTECH Robotics has even filed for an IPO in Hong Kong, aiming to become the first AI-powered humanoid robot stock.
What does it matter?
Multiple factors drive China’s interest in humanoid robots. The country’s population is ageing, and certain sectors, including healthcare, are experiencing labor shortages. Humanoid robots, such as the GR-1 created by Shanghai-based startup Fourier Intelligence, are viewed as a potential answer to these challenges. The GR-1 can perform routine physical tasks such as lifting objects and moving patients from beds to wheelchairs, a practical feat in healthcare facilities.
In addition to healthcare, humanoid robots have potential applications in a variety of other sectors. They can be useful in service industries such as restaurants, guest reception, and education.
China seeks to leverage technological breakthroughs in general AI and industrial robot components to improve the implementation of the technology in key industrial applications.
China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology guidelines represent a significant step towards fostering innovation in robotics. By promoting the development of global enterprises and industrial clusters, China wants to close the gap with Japan and the US and position itself at the vanguard of a fast-evolving field.