China boldly claims it has a plan to mass-produce humanoid robots that can 'reshape the world' within 2 years
November 6, 2023
China disclosed its plans to mass-produce "advanced level" humanoid robots by 2025.
- The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology published a road map of its plans last week.
- Though many details have yet to be disclosed, China talked up the "disruptive" power of its robots.
China disclosed ambitious plans to mass-produce humanoid robots, which it says will be as "disruptive" as smartphones.
In an ambitious blueprint document published last week, China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said the robots would "reshape the world."
The MIIT said that by 2025 the product will have reached an "advanced level" and be mass-produced. It made the statements in the development goals listed in its road map.
"They are expected to become disruptive products after computers, smartphones, and new energy vehicles," a translation of the document added.
Bloomberg reported the document was "short on details but big on ambition." But some Chinese companies are seemingly helping to tackle the country's robotic ambitions in earnest.
The Chinese startup Fourier Intelligence, for example, said it would start mass-producing its GR-1 humanoid robot by the end of this year, South China Morning Post reported. The company, which has a base in Shanghai, told the publication it aspired to deliver thousands of robots in 2024 that could move at 5 kilometers an hour and carry 50 kilograms.
It's not the only humanoid-robot maker that's ramping up its efforts with the goal of mass production. The US's Agility Robotics is set to open a robot factory later this year in Oregon, where it plans to build hundreds of its bipedal robots that can mimic human movements such as walking, crouching, and carrying packages.
Amazon is testing Agility Robotics' Digit robot at a research-and-development center near Seattle to see how it can be used to automate its warehouses, but it's only in the pilot phase.
Agility Robotics CEO Damion Shelton told Insider: "In the near term, we expect a slow and steady uptick of Digit deployments." He added: "We believe mass integration will eventually occur, but bipedal robots are still a relatively new advancement."
Even Tesla is developing its own humanoid robot, named Optimus, or Tesla Bot, as Elon Musk disclosed in 2021. But it still has a long way to go before it's ready for mass production; Musk said at a Tesla AI Day event in 2022 that it was the first time the prototype had walked "without any support" when it walked onto the stage.
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