Young visitors learn about a robot at an exhibition center in Haian, Jiangsu province. (Photo by ZHAI HUIYONG/FOR CHINA DAILY)
China is accelerating the development of its burgeoning robotics to boost the digital economy as well as high-quality development, officials said on Monday ahead of a global industry event to be held in Beijing this month.
Wang Hong, deputy director-general of the first equipment industry department at the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said robotics is playing a key role in driving industrial digitalization and promoting the development of the digital economy.
Addressing a news conference in Beijing on Monday, Wang said China's robotics industry has witnessed considerable growth despite challenges like a complicated and grim international environment and pressures from COVID-19 outbreaks. It will be influential globally in robotics.
The output of China's industrial robots hit a record high of 366,000 units in 2021, up 67.9 percent year-on-year. And the output of the country's service robots jumped 48.9 percent to 9.21 million units last year.
Global sales of industrial robots staged a strong recovery in 2021, with a record 486,800 units shipped, up 27 percent year-on-year, according to a recent report from the International Federation of Robotics.
In the next step, Wang said the country will make a big push to ensure stable industrial and supply chains, strengthen ties between robotics companies and institutions at home and abroad, and better integrate itself into the global innovation networks.
More efforts will also be made to enhance the basic capabilities of China's robotics industry, carry out joint research on robotics core parts, software and products and boost collaborative innovation among robotics industries, universities and research institutes.
To further boost the innovative development of China's robotics industry, the 2022 World Robot Conference, the seventh since 2015, will be held in Beijing from Aug 18 to 21.More than 300 scientists as well as representatives from international organizations and companies from China and abroad will take part, said Chen Ying, vice-chairman of the Chinese Institute of Electronics.
Peng Xuehai, deputy director of the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Economy and Information Technology, said the robot conference has, over the years, effectively promoted the innovative development of China's robotics industry, making positive contributions to the construction of an open and inclusive global robotics system.
Peng said Beijing is ramping up efforts to build itself into a global sci-tech innovation hub. Thus, holding the 2022 World Robot Conference will help promote the high-quality development of the robotics industry and build a high-level economic system.
According to Peng, Beijing is home to over 400 robotics firms.
Looking ahead, he said the city aims to build an innovative robotics industrial cluster with global influence, and Beijing will introduce specific supportive policies for the robotics industry and encourage companies to develop businesses in the field of advanced manufacturing in the city.
According to Chen, the upcoming event will be co-hosted by the Beijing Municipal Government, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and CAST.
This year's exhibition will cover an area of 40,000 square meters, featuring several major sections on innovative technologies in robotics, industrial robots, service robots and specialized robots.
More than 500 products from over 130 companies will be on display, ranging from firefighting robots to surgery robots. And over 30 new products will be released during the conference.
Notably, a new section on humanoid robots will make its public debut, and hundreds of robot dogs will dance in front of the audience during the event.
This year's conference will feature the 2022 World Robot Contest Championship and release a report on the development of China's robotics industry.