There are planes and aircraft carriers. When will Chinese robots compete with the world?

AsiaIndustrial NetNews: Compared with other industries,robotIndustry (this article only talks about non-industryThe polarization is very obvious. Why do you say that?

Taking the familiar PC industry as an example, no matter what the differences in product concepts and positioning of Lenovo, HP, Dell, ASUS, etc. are, the final products are not fundamentally different. Even if you compare the products of these old OEM brands with some lesser-known brands, such as Dai Rui, Zhongbai, Boben, etc., there is no essential difference.

In addition, the same is true for the automotive industry, whether it is Toyota, Honda, Nissan, or GM, Volkswagen, Chrysler, or Great Wall, Geely, China, although the products they launch are different, but in the final analysis, they are not functional. No essential difference.

There are planes and aircraft carriers. When will Chinese robots compete with the world?

Looking at the robotics industry, it seems that there is no such rule. We might as well cite three brands, I believe everyone can understand the meaning:

The first is Boston Dynamics (Boston Dynamic: has left Google and was acquired by Toyota), which has been on fire around the world in the past two years, and the various foot (wheeled) Robots it has developed. Come to a few animations to experience:

There are planes and aircraft carriers. When will Chinese robots compete with the world?

Handle Robot: it’s very hard to get over obstacles and keep your balance

There are planes and aircraft carriers. When will Chinese robots compete with the world?

Spot Robots: Footed Robots Have Difficulty Keeping Balance

There are planes and aircraft carriers. When will Chinese robots compete with the world?

Spot robot: control force of steering gear and reducer is a difficult problem for robots 1 2 3 4 Next page > page

The second is Asimo, developed by Honda, whose appearance, cost, and performance fees are all in the ranks of the rich and handsome.

There are planes and aircraft carriers. When will Chinese robots compete with the world?

Honda Asimo humanoid robot

The third is a group of group portraits, mostly from mainland China, as shown in the following figure:

There are planes and aircraft carriers. When will Chinese robots compete with the world?

Search for the “smart robot” keyword to Display products on the e-commerce page

In the face of these three types of products, which are also called “robots”, I believe that everyone already has a concept of the polarization of the Robot Industry: one is the robot developed based on cutting-edge technology represented by Boston Dynamics, Honda, etc., the former emphasizes Cutting-edge technology, the latter is closer to our ideal robot; the other looks more like a children’s toy. So we can’t help but ask the question, what is the point of a robot? Can these “toys” be called robots?

Having said that, I would like to tell you a “joke” first:

In 2015, I went to the 19th RoboCup Robot World Cup to report, and there was an exhibitor focusing on the elderly companion robot. At that time, they exhibited an elderly companion robot product. The staff introduced that this robot mainly has two functions:

One is to simply communicate with the elderly through voice recognition;

The second is that if the old man falls at home alone, the robot will slowly approach the old man and take a picture of it, and then send the photo of the old man’s state to the mobile APP bound to it, telling the family that something may have happened to the old man.

Everyone present at that time was very concerned about the second function. While everyone was waiting for the staff to continue to introduce this function in depth, there was a moment of silence. After more than ten seconds, a peer at the scene asked in a low voice, “Then what?”

The staff was slightly embarrassed: “At the moment, I’m just taking a photo…”

To sum up, the old man in the family fell down, and the robot detected that the old man fell through the camera, then slowly approached the old man, took a picture of the old man who fell to the ground, and sent it to the mobile phone APP bound to the robot… …

There are planes and aircraft carriers. When will Chinese robots compete with the world?

How can I help the elderly?

In fact, we can see from this experience that there is still a long way to go before the function of the robot is perfect, and its real value has not yet been reflected. Many so-called “intelligent robots” on the market are more like “smart speakers” in the guise of robots, or “big figures” with voice recognition technology. To some extent, many of these “objects” are far from the word “robot”.


·There are a lot of mixed problems

Taking technology and application value as a reference, there are three poles in current robot products:

The first is the “hyun-tech” (no derogatory) type of enterprises represented by Boston Dynamics, which can be regarded as the poles for displaying technology. Whether it is the footed robot that made it famous or the recently developed Handle wheeled robot, Boston Dynamics has applied bionics, cybernetics, and software and hardware applications to servo servos, reducers, and many other levels. The ultimate that can be done.

Second, the robots represented by Honda Asimo, which may be positioned as high-end home and industrial applications in the future, can be regarded as the poles for displaying applications. At present, there are several companies such as Ubisoft and Capability Storm that are doing relatively well in China.

The third is the so-called “intelligent robot” manufacturers who have the most problems and disputes. They are doing speculative and confusing things in the turbulent times of the industry. Put voice recognition and cameras in egg-shaped, human-shaped, or other shaped objects to sell as robots, and skillfully apply the method of building machines to making “robots”. These manufacturers often hold the mentality of one-shot buying and selling. If the industry fails, they will quickly transform and aim at the next outlet industry. For the development of the robot industry, they cannot play a substantial role in promoting the development of the technology and application levels.

There are planes and aircraft carriers. When will Chinese robots compete with the world?

Such a robot…

Therefore, for the robot industry and the robot products themselves, the existence of the first two types of enterprises is self-evident, while the third type of enterprises are often used in the rapid development of the industry – just like the PC industry in the past – by the Wash off gradually.

At present, the foothold of consumer robot products is in three aspects:

One is the companion robot.

Second, service robots.

Third, educational robots.

Among them, the most widespread phenomenon of selling dog meat with sheep’s heads is undoubtedly the two types of robot products of companion type and education type.

The functions that escort robots can currently have, just like the experience I mentioned before, are very limited. I think the role of the escort robot is not only to add voice recognition, image recognition, network and other functions to talk with people, or to do some image monitoring things. Instead, they can participate in substantive work such as rescue, advice, and emergency response in emergencies. I think this is the ultimate embodiment of technology to value.

For example, if an escort robot finds that something has happened to the elderly or children, it can do some work such as early warning notification to the emergency center while notifying the guardian. I think its practical value will be more recognized than it is now.

The biggest problem with educational robots is that they are mixed. Some so-called educational robots are actually speakers with voice, camera, and internet functions. Although these products have certain educational functions, whether they can be called “robots” is a big question mark.

In addition, although service robots do not have as many products as escort and educational robots, they still have a long way to go in terms of practicality.

At present, service robots can basically perform functions such as automatic barriers, handling glass products, face recognition, and voice services. However, due to the slow marketization and high cost, it is still difficult to achieve the shape design in the movie. As realistic as it appears.

There are planes and aircraft carriers. When will Chinese robots compete with the world?

Pictured: A clip from the movie “Space Traveler”, where the bartender is an “ultimate form” service robot

There are many chaos in the general consumer robot industry, but cutting-edge technology manufacturers like Boston Dynamics, Honda, etc. are also facing no small problems…

·The paradox between interests and basic R&D

First, let’s talk about Boston Dynamics. On May 28 last year, Toyota acquired Boston Dynamics Robotics from Google. Although Google did not specify the reason for the sale, it can be seen from Google’s internal documents disclosed by foreign media: “It is difficult to bring commercial benefits in a short time” and “inconsistent cooperation concepts” are the main factors for Google to sell Boston Dynamics.

Toyota was able to complete the acquisition, mainly because of the fit between Boston Dynamics and Toyota in hardware, and the integration of R&D personnel and related technologies into Toyota, which enabled Toyota to obtain considerable returns from it.

At the end of 2015, Fengtai invested US$1 billion to establish an artificial intelligence research institute in Palo Alto. In January 2016, the Toyota Research Institute (TRI) was officially established in Silicon Valley. Most of its research and development technologies are related to automobiles, but another important direction is home artificial intelligence products, which may be related to the development of Japan’s elderly and disabled robot business in the future. The main body of Toyota’s acquisition of Boston Dynamics is actually the Toyota Research Institute. Judging from the foot and wheeled robots developed by Boston Dynamics, their characteristics also play a role in promoting the development of robots for the elderly and the disabled.

There are planes and aircraft carriers. When will Chinese robots compete with the world?

Toyota Research Institute acquires Boston Dynamics, another big step ahead

In fact, from the fact that Boston Dynamics was sold by Google, we can see that the current Robotic products with cutting-edge technology face two major problems:

First, the research and development time is long, and the human, material and financial re

Published on 04/02/2023