US trade boss warns of oversupply of bad robots because of Chinese government subsidies

 

China’s appetite for industrial robots is big and growing. Already the largest buyer of the machines, domestic companies are being encouraged by the Chinese government to build more robots locally, not just import them from overseas. 

Such high-powered encouragement has led to the establishment of numerous robot manufacturers in the country, some of which take advantage of government subsidies.

This has prompted criticism from US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross (main picture), who grumbled about a range of issues, but singled out China’s burgeoning robotics industry, which he apparently believes is built mainly on government subsidies.  Continue reading US trade boss warns of oversupply of bad robots because of Chinese government subsidies

By 2020, 1.7 million new robots will be roaming the earth

 

The global robot population is growing at what some might say is an alarming rate. 

As well as the countless millions already tucked away in factories and homes everywhere, there could be another 2 million added to that number by the end of the decade, which may or may not coincide with the end of humanity’s control over the planet and a ceremonial transfer of power to the robots and artificial intelligence.

Purely ceremonial, since some people say they already rule over us anyway.  Continue reading By 2020, 1.7 million new robots will be roaming the earth

HRG launches industrial robotics tutorial platform

 

HIT Robot Group, one of China’s leading manufacturer of robots, has launched an industrial robotics tutorial platform.

HRG says Haidu Academy is designed to help learners of different levels to improve their industrial robot-operating skills on various brands.

China is the largest and fastest-growing robot market in the world.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, in the first seven months of 2017, 71,600 industrial robots were produced in China, accounting for more than 30 percent of global output during the period.

Statistics also suggest an increasing demand for skilled workers. The Ministry predicts that China will need 200,000 skilled workers to operate industrial robots as of 2020.

Continue reading HRG launches industrial robotics tutorial platform

ABB doubling investment in China to see off challenge from Kuka and surpass Fanuc

 

ABB has a significant lead in the industrial robotics and automation market in China, but it seems somewhat wary of Kuka. 

The company recently decided it would double its investment in its research and development facility in China, and effectively make it the company’s global R&D HQ.

ABB currently employs 17,000 people in 139 cities in China. Its robotics division, though huge by itself, is just one part of the Swiss multinational engineering company.

Speaking to Bloomberg, ABB CEO Ulrish Spiesshofer says: “ABB is ahead of Kuka globally, we are ahead of Kuka here in the market and our ambition is to stay so.”  Continue reading ABB doubling investment in China to see off challenge from Kuka and surpass Fanuc

Siemens to establish global robotics research and development centre in China

Engineering giant Siemens is establishing a robotics research and development centre in China. 

The company says the facility will be a global research centre in autonomous robotics, and is part of its innovation strategy to “master technology fields that are critical for future success”.

Worldwide, Siemens is planning to spend $6 billion this year on R&D, and China is likely to represent a significant portion of that budget.

Siemens says the global research community in its China R&D centre will comprise experienced experts from around the world will focus on:

  • the research and development of new mechatronics systems,
  • human-robot collaboration; and
  • the application of artificial intelligence in robotic controllers.

Continue reading Siemens to establish global robotics research and development centre in China

Siasun becomes first Chinese company to join leading US robotics association

Siasun Robot & Automation has become the first Chinese company to join the US Robotic Industries Association

Siasun is said to be China’s largest robot supplier and integrator. By joining RIA, the company will gain greater access to the association’s members, partners and personnel.

It may also learn about new technologies and more support for any plans expansion in America.  Continue reading Siasun becomes first Chinese company to join leading US robotics association

Comau signs new partners in the US as it showcases its industrial robots in China

Comau is continuing on with its ambitious growth plan with the signing of two new partnership agreements in the US, and with the presentation of its industrial robotics and automation solutions at the World Robot Conference in China. 

In California, Comau signed a partnership agreement with Valencia, California-based distributor Pacific Technical Products.

Since 1985, PTP has been a provider of industrial automation products and services, and specializes in industrial automation solutions.  Continue reading Comau signs new partners in the US as it showcases its industrial robots in China

HRG Robotics unveils products and ‘Robotics Biosphere’ vision at World Robot Conference in China

HIT Robot Group, one of China’s leading robot manufacturers, unveiled more than 50 products and introduced its vision to build the “Robotics Biosphere” at the 2017 World Robot Conference in Beijing.

The company announced that it has successfully laid the groundwork of a unique biosphere for global robotic innovation, entrepreneurship and industry.

In his keynote speech at WRC, the company’s senior vice president Yu Zhenzhong said: “HRG Robotics is committed to building an industrial incubation platform that encompasses the robotic sector as a whole so as to realize optimized integration of all resources based on industrial layouts.”  Continue reading HRG Robotics unveils products and ‘Robotics Biosphere’ vision at World Robot Conference in China

China reaching new heights in demand for industrial robots as well as making them

China is seeing more demand for industrial robots as well as more of the machines being built inside the country, according to a report by the Robotics industries Association. 

Annual sales in China were “the highest level ever recorded for a single country”, says RIA, adding “sales in China surged by 27 percent to 87,000 units” in 2016.

At the same time, says RIA, robot manufacturers in China have been expanding their market share within the country.  Continue reading China reaching new heights in demand for industrial robots as well as making them

China’s auto mobility revolution: Going from ‘ownership’ to ‘usership’

Gao Feng, a business consultancy headquartered in China, has released a new paper about the revolution in auto mobility in China

China’s unique set of urban transportation challenges, very high rate of adoption of mobile internet services, and rapid and aggressive introduction of alternative mobility solutions have combined to make China a global breeding ground for mobility innovation.

The deeply-rooted automotive industry business model is experiencing disruption.

Mobility needs previously satisfied through product “ownership” are increasingly being served through mobility services “usership”, with profound implications not only for traditional players within the value chain, but also for non-traditional players – as they enter and compete to deliver services.  Continue reading China’s auto mobility revolution: Going from ‘ownership’ to ‘usership’

Big industrial robot manufacturers looking to move into China

yaskawa china
Picture courtesy of Dr Miha Pipan

The huge and growing demand for industrial robots in China is prompting the world’s largest industrial robot makers to look into setting up operations in the country. 

In particular, Japanese companies are said to be profiting from China’s huge increase in demand for industrial robots.

Statistics collated by the Japan Robot Association show that the country exported around $4.4 billion worth of industrial robots to China in 2016.  Continue reading Big industrial robot manufacturers looking to move into China

China’s enthusiasm for robots and electric cars creating oversupply of clean technology

hit robot polishing-for-each-product
A jade-polishing robot produced by the HIT Robot Group, one of China’s largest robot makers

China’s enthusiasm for new technology, combined with its paranoia about being left behind in a globally intensifying high-tech competition, sometimes leads it to create small bubbles in its economy which may or may not dissipate in the disciplined manner in which the markets they encompass may have emerged in the first place. 

Two years ago, the government of the world’s most populous nation of 1.4 billion people launched a 10-year national plan to “transform China from a manufacturing giant into a world manufacturing power”, in the words of XinhuaNet, the state propaganda outlet.  Continue reading China’s enthusiasm for robots and electric cars creating oversupply of clean technology

Chinese robotic spacecraft completes second refuelling test, as Russia launches robotic cargo ship to International Space Station

Progress_M-52
The Progress spacecraft

China and Russia have both launched robotic spacecraft on cargo missions recently, according to reports in the media. 

Chinese state news agency Xinhua says the Tiangong-2 space lab and Tianzhou-1 completed a second refuelling test which “cemented technical results from the first refuelling”.

According to Space.com, the refuelling procedure requires 29 steps to complete and lasts for several days.  Continue reading Chinese robotic spacecraft completes second refuelling test, as Russia launches robotic cargo ship to International Space Station

Chinese e-commerce giant starts delivering orders using robots

jd robot

One of China’s largest online shopping companies has started to deliver goods to its customers using robots, according to a report in QZ.com

The four-wheeled autonomous vehicle (pictured above) is about the size of a washing machine and was developed by Jingdong, or JD.com as it’s also known in China.

And although the robot was used for the first time earlier this week, JD’s chairman, Liu Qiangdong, says the company could completely roboticise its entire logistics process within a few years.

The company already uses small autonomous vehicles in its logistics warehouses to move goods around (pictured below).  Continue reading Chinese e-commerce giant starts delivering orders using robots

China says its Belt & Road initiative is a way out of the global economic slump

China is planning to create what looks like will be the largest, longest and most complex logistics network in history – at a cost to itself of almost $1 trillion. 

The so-called Belt & Road Initiative will virtually encircle China, most of Asia and much of Europe, and will mostly consist of interconnected roads, but will also include sea lanes and railways, and possibly some airways.

In total, it will connect approximately 60 countries, and cost anything between $4 trillion and $8 trillion. And the timescale is anyone’s guess.

The northern parts of the Belt & Road network will include the revival of the ancient Silk Road, which connected China to Persia and the Mediterranean Sea to the north, and India, Indonesia and Arabia via sea lanes to the south.  Continue reading China says its Belt & Road initiative is a way out of the global economic slump