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Title STEPI In-House Seminar on “Trends on Collaborative Robot Technology and Industrial & Service Robots in China”
Date 2018-06-28 Hit 856  

The Office of Multilateral Cooperation Project of STEPI hosted an in-house seminar to take a look at “Trends on Collaborative Robot Technology and Industrial & Service Robots in China” on June 19. For the seminar, Dr. Doo-yeol Goh, senior researcher of Department of AI at Korea Institute of Machinery and Materials was invited and explained about collaborative robot and the Chinese robot technology and industry before having active discussions with STEPI members.

Through his presentation on the concept, technology and trend of collaborative robot, Dr. Goh introduced what makes collaborative robot special and different from the conventional robots. He pointed out that the regulations concerning collaborative robot have been stably established around the world while we are still in the early stage in Korea. He also added, however, we are gradually revising related regulations. Currently, UR from Denmark, Rethink Robotics from the US, ABB from Switzerland and Fanuc from Japan are viewed as the leaders of the collaborative robot market, where the growth is faster than that of the industrial market. Dr. Goh attributed the rise of collaborative robots to four major reasons: decrease in skilled workers, price decline, flexible installation, and system scalability.


Regarding the Chinese robot industry, he explained industrial robot and service robot separately. China is expected to make up 1/3 of the global industrial robot market by 2018 and 45% of the global market by 2019 as the largest industrial robot market with dramatic growth. What’s striking here is that when it comes to the number of robots per 10,000 persons, Korea is no. 1 in the world. According to him, Chinese industrial robots has multiple problems such as lack of technology elite, disproportionate focus on basic research rather than application technology, low quality, low reliability, excessive redundancy, avoidance of locally produced robots in China and high dependency on imported core parts.


On the other hand, China’s service robot has shown drastic growth for the last 10 years. Such advancement was possible as many internet & IT companies like Baidu and Alibaba have utilized AI, cloud computing and big data. However, he mentioned that there is still a technology gap of 5 to 10 years between China and advanced countries.

Overall, a gap still exists between the Chinese robot industry and the advanced countries. However, it is notable that Chinese are developing a variety of robots, which haven’t even produced in Korea, and are persistently pursuing technology development and application.