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        position: EnglishChannel > Innovation China > Article

        Innovation Brings Chinese Robots to the World

        Source: 科技日報 | 2022-09-01 09:52:48 | Author: LU Zijian

        A robot dog patrolling at an expo during the World Robot Conference 2022 held in Beijing. (PHOTO: XINHUA)

        By LU Zijian

        China now has the largest robot application market in the world, according to Xin Guobin, vice minister of industry and information technology, speaking at a forum during the World Robot Conference 2022 (WRC 2022) on August 19.

        A report on the development of China's robot industry released at WRC 2022 predicts that the scale of the country's robot market will hit 17.4 billion USD in 2022.

        And as with all mega markets, it is not one that was created overnight.

        Rising to robot R&D challenges

        A key factor of China's progress in the robotics industry is the joint efforts of universities, research institutes and enterprises in tackling technological challenges in robot R&D.

        Breakthroughs of technologies regarding key parts of robots, such as reducer, controller and servo systems, have been achieved, especially in enterprises, among which is SIASUN, a robotic enterprise belonging to the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

        As a leading enterprise in Automatic Guided Vehicle (AGV) SIASUN was among the first enterprises to apply AGV in real life situations like automobile assembling. The synchronous tracking technology developed by SIASUN can dynamically follow the passive reflector of the hoist for car body lifting, thus making dynamic assembling possible by checking the deviation of relative positioning.

        Applying AGV in heavy truck assembling is a more recent challenge tackled by SIASUN. Different from the demand for AGV in car assembling, heavy truck assembling requires stronger bearing capacity, lifting ability and safety factors. To meet the needs, researchers in SIASUN achieved technological innovation in lifting structure, control unit and sensing unit through independent R&D.

        There are also many other technological achievements in the robotics industry. Industrial robots have become more flexible after compliant force control features were added to them, which helps to realize their application in scenarios that require higher precision and stronger sensitivity.

        Robots in daily life

        Robots have deeply integrated into daily Chinese life. Industrial robots have been applied in 60 industry categories and 168 industries. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the production volume of industrial robots in China in 2021 reached 366,000, soaring by 68 percent compared with that of the previous year.

        Industrial robots are key to intelligent manufacturing systems, which play an important role in the digital transformation of the manufacturing industry. The application of industrial robots has also expanded from simple tasks like carrying materials, to precision machining like polishing.

        Delivery robots are now a more common sight, along with housework robots. Meanwhile surgical robots are of great help to doctors in terms of completing highly difficult surgeries with precision, efficiency and safety, as they advance the limits of human hands, eyes and brain.

        Also, special robots are widely adopted in emergency rescue, hazardous operations, and scientific expeditions in extreme conditions. Aerial work is quite dangerous as workers have to face both the risk of falling and extreme weather like strong wind, high temperature and severe cold. A special robot displayed at the expo during WRC 2022 can release workers from such situations and has a working efficiency six to eight times that of a human. 

        Chinese robots going global

        In addition to serving the domestic market, robots developed and produced by China can be found across the world.

        As early as 2007, SIASUN won the bid in an AGV project from U.S. company General Motors, which was the first time that China's AGV products had been exported to developed countries. Now, SIASUN's products have been sold to more than 40 countries and regions around the globe.

        Chengdu CRP Robot Technology Co., Ltd., listed by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology as a "little giant" among all the specialized, refined, differential and innovative (SRDI) enterprises in China in 2021, witnessed an increase of export orders by nearly 40 percent year-on-year for the first half of 2022.

        The export value of industrial robots has experienced obvious growth for the past few years. According to China Customs, the export value of industrial robots reached about 3.67 billion RMB in 2021, surging by 40 percent compared with exports in 2020.

        Last December, 15 departments in China jointly issued a guideline for the robotics industry during the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025). The guideline says that the country aims to build three to five robot industry clusters with an international influence by 2025.

        This augurs well for this industry given the projected ongoing growth of the global robot market.

        Editor: 王曉夏

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