China continues to accelerate its bid to grab the initiative in 21st-century robotics and artificial intelligence development as the next emerging global powerhouse. Small wonder that the world's leading manufacturing giant has already raced past the rest of the world as a major user of robots.
According to the China Robot Industry Alliance, the country is already a flourishing hub for consumer robotics and is poised for a radical transition from its human-based workforce to an automated Artificial Intelligence or AI-based alternative. Its recent unveiling of the incredibly adept and efficient personal robot BIG-i is a pertinent example. Dubbed "butler," this humanoid is primarily a service robot with the programmed ability to aid homeowners in the performance of a wide variety of household errands. It can easily track the location of various household appliances and transport items from one point to the next by employing its claw-like mechanical hands.
Recently, China unveiled its first ever robot security guard at a Tech Fair in Chongqing. The nearly 1.50-meter tall machine dubbed "AnBot" has been described as a highly intelligent patrolling machine with advanced emergency-alert-based navigation and environment monitoring capabilities. The AnBot, according to its developers, can be highly useful for detecting biochemical and explosive-related threats.
The robot is jointly developed by the National University of Defense Technology and a robotics company in China's Hunan Province. According to National University of Defense Technology director Xiao Xiangjiang, significant strides in security related technology have enabled engineers to lead the way forward in robotics.
"Breakthroughs in low-cost autonomous navigation and positioning as well as intelligent video surveillance have contributed to the development of the robot which apart from other functions is also capable of responding during emergencies."
According to a report, some Japanese companies are looking to introduce an indoor lettuce farm that will be managed autonomously by robots fitted with computers. According to experts, the fully automated farm could be introduced as early as next year and could make lettuce-farming more economical and equally environment-friendly.
Recently, another remarkable human-like robot was introduced in Hefei east China. Created by University of Science and Technology of China experts, this fascinating humanoid "Jia Jia," famously dubbed "robot goddess," is a highly interactive cyborg that communicates with its natural eye movement and speech which is intelligently synchronized with its lip movement.
"Companies are forced to invest ever more in robots to be more productive and raise quality. In the current phase it's the auto industry, but in the next two or three years it will be driven by the electronics industry."
China is looking to spearhead a massive robot revolution by facilitating highly automated manufacturing intended to replace millions of low-paid workers and therefore render human labor virtually redundant. China's extraordinary advances in robotic technology will allow it to establish and even extend its domination in the field of robot-making in merely a matter of decades.
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