Home> 2023 WRC

Robotics field gears for upswing

(chinadaily.com.cn) Updated: 2023-08-21


A patrol robot on display at the ongoing 2023 World Robot Conference in Beijing. WANG YUGUO/XINHUA

Greater effort is required to strengthen international cooperation, and build an open and inclusive development environment in the burgeoning robotics industry, officials and experts said, as robots play an increasingly vital role in bolstering technological innovation and intelligent manufacturing.

China is willing to work with the international community to speed up the application of robotics in a wider range of fields, and encourage foreign robotic companies to invest and grow their businesses in the country, said Xin Guobin, vice-minister of industry and information technology.

Xin made the remarks during the ongoing 2023 World Robot Conference, which is on until Tuesday in Beijing.

He also called for more efforts to establish rules and standards that will better regulate the development and application of the emerging technology.

China's robotics industry maintained double-digit growth, with total revenue surpassing 170 billion yuan ($23.3 billion) last year, Xin said. Sales of industrial robots in the nation accounted for more than half of the world's total in 2022, topping the world for 10 consecutive years, he added.

Data from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology showed that the output of industrial robots stood at 222,000 units in the country in the first half, up 5.4 percent year-on-year. Output of robots for the services sector jumped 9.62 percent year-on-year to 3.53 million units during the Jan-June period.

Installations of industrial robots in China took the top spot globally in 2022, carving out a more than 50 percent market share, according to the ministry. The total disclosed financing in China's robotics industry amounted to over 30 billion yuan last year.

The nation will ratchet up efforts to bolster technological breakthroughs and innovations in key robotics components, cultivate world-class robot industrial clusters and safeguard the stability of the global robotics industrial and supply chain, Xin said.

He said the robot density in the manufacturing industry came in at 392 robots per 10,000 employees, and industrial robots have already been adopted in 65 industries and 206 sub-industries, with the application in fields like new energy, automobile, lithium battery, photo-voltaic and other emerging industries expanding rapidly.

"China has played a significant role in the development of scientific and technological innovation and engineering on a global scale, and has made remarkable achievements in robot development," said Jose Vieira, president of the World Federation of Engineering Organizations.

He said the application of robot technology can boost efficiency in output, reduce production costs and improve product quality.

"It is necessary to achieve a balance between scientific and technological innovation and industrial development, and work together to promote robotics development in a more inclusive and sustainable way," Vieira said.

China is by far the fastest-growing robot market in the world, with the highest number of annual installations and has, since 2016, had the largest operational stock of robots each year, according to the International Federation of Robotics, a professional, nonprofit organization based in Germany.

Chen Ying, vice-chairman and secretary-general of the Chinese Institute of Electronics, urged more efforts in speeding up the in-depth integration of robotics with cutting-edge technologies, including artificial intelligence, biotechnology, new materials and brain-computer interface.

Zhang Jin, president of Siasun Robot & Automation Co, said it will continue to increase investment in research and development, enhance indigenous innovation capabilities and expand its presence in automobile manufacturing, semiconductors and the new energy sector.