One in 20 Chinese workers could be replaced by robots by 2025
By 2025, machines and robots are set to replace nearly 5% of China’s workforce, according to an industry report released this week. In a survey of nearly 2,000 companies in China, the Wuhan University Institute of Quality Development Strategy found that 13.4% used robots as part of their processes in 2017, up from 8.1% two years before. As a result, about 40% of China’s manufacturing workforce could be “potentially affected” by the use of robots, putting further strain on the job market of the world’s most populous country, according to the report. The rise of automation had a disproportionate impact on workers with lower levels of education. Between 2015 and 2017, robotics replaced 9.4% of
This firm is building an army of robots in China — to make more robots
If androids could dream, this is what would get their circuits sparking. A colony of robots, greased and served by humans, doing nothing all day but reproducing themselves. In essence that’s Swiss engineering firm ABB’s plan to build what it’s called “the world’s most advanced” robotics factory, in Shanghai. The company announced Saturday a new $150 million investment in the eastern Chinese city, home to many advanced manufacturing plants and a future Tesla car factory. The new plant, where “robots make robots,” will begin operating by the end of 2020, the company said. Success in building an efficient, low-maintenance robot-making factory will help the company produce more and cheaper robo
The robot revolution underway in the world’s factory
Amid the sprawl of drab, dusty factories in the southern Chinese city of Foshan, one gleaming new structure stands out. The 430,000-square-foot factory, designed by an American architect, cost $17.5 million to build and is expected to triple Jaten Robot & Automation’s annual production to 10,000 industrial robots. Just a few miles away, work is underway on an enormous $1.45 billion industrial estate that will house three ventures between Chinese appliance maker Midea and German robotics firm Kuka, which Midea bought in 2016. The new complex will have the annual capacity to produce 75,000 industrial robots by 2024. Jaten and Midea are among the biggest players helping to make Foshan – a city
The day I ate at Shanghai’s robot restaurant
It’s ironic, but the first thing we see at Shanghai’s new robot restaurant is a human being. “People are not yet used to dealing only with machines,” explains a smiling young man. Located in Shanghai’s suburban Jiading district, the Robot.He restaurant is the first of its kind. It’s part of Hema supermarkets, e-commerce giant Alibaba’s new retail chain in which customers shop not with trolleys, but with their phones. (Alibaba also owns Inkstone.) At Hema’s 59 (and growing) stores, shoppers scan the barcodes of products, choose their desired quantity, and staff assemble the items for home delivery in less than 30 minutes. But at Robot.He, we don’t even have to wait to get home to eat. We just
This android wants to build the future (but not steal your job)
Say hello to Sophia, an android designed in Hong Kong by Hanson Robotics. While she isn’t fully sentient, Sophia uses elements of artificial intelligence and speech recognition, to allow people to have rudimentary conversations with her. She’s excited for the future of innovation… and she insists that she’s not going to steal your job.
This is what it looks like when doves spy
If you’ve ever looked up to the sky and marveled at the graceful sweep of bird gliding above, be warned: it could be a Chinese drone monitoring your every move. The idea might seem far-fetched, but robotic birds are very much a reality, and China has been using them to surveil people across the country. Sources told the South China Morning Post that more than 30 military and government agencies have deployed the birdlike drones and related devices in at least five provinces in recent years. The “spy bird” program, code-named “Dove”, is being led by Song Bifeng, a professor at Northwestern Polytechnical University in Xian, capital of northwestern China’s Shaanxi province. Yang Wenqing, an as