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Robust Development in China’s Robotics Industry

China’s robotics industry has been enjoying robust development in recent years thanks to the country’s unremitting efforts. Between 2016 and 2020, China’s robotics industry grew rapidly. In 2020, the operating income of the country’s robotics sector exceeded 100 billion yuan (about $15.8 billion) for the first time, and the output of industrial robots reached 212,000 units.

During that period, China’s robotics industry enjoyed strong momentum in terms of its development. As of last year, China was the world’s largest market for industrial robots for eight consecutive years. In 2020, the manufacturing robot density, a metric used to measure a country’s level of automation, reached 246 units per 10,000 people in China, nearly twice the global average.

The robotics industry will embrace leapfrog development, as a new round of technological revolution and industrial transformation is gaining momentum, and with a new generation of information technologies having been deeply integrated with robotic technologies.

– Wang Weiming, Ministry of Industry & Information Technology

Driven by new technologies such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality and 5G, as well as incentive policies, China is accelerating its efforts to expand the application scenarios for its robotics industry. So far, industrial robots have been applied in 52 industry categories, including automobiles and electronics, while service and special robots have been widely used in sectors such as logistics, education and entertainment.

The nation is striving to become a global hub for robotics innovation by 2025, according to a plan for the development of the country’s robotics industry, which was recently issued by state organs such as the MIIT. The country will make more efforts to achieve breakthroughs in core robot components and further improve the performance and reliability of robots, the plan said. China will promote the integration of new technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data, and cloud computing with robotic technologies, and continue to make breakthroughs in core robotic technologies and applications.

China is aiming to become an innovation hub for the global robotics industry by 2025, as it works to achieve breakthroughs in robotics components and widen the application of smart machines in more sectors. The move is part of the nation’s broader push to cope with a greying population and leverage cutting-edge technologies to advance industrial upgrades. It has pledged to achieve breakthroughs in core robotic technologies and related high-end products by 2025, according to a guideline. The country will strive to become a global hub for robotics innovation by then, attaining the performance and reliability for key robot components to meet international standards, said the guideline jointly issued by state organs such as the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

For the robotics industry, the annual growth rate of its operating revenue is expected to exceed 20% on average by 2025, and the robot density in the manufacturing industry will double from the current level, the guideline said. Vowing progress in developing technologies and robot operating systems, the guideline noted that the country will encourage industrial innovation and expand application scenarios to achieve the set targets.

As reported by OpenGov Asia, Chinese researchers have completed the First-in-Man (FIM) clinical trial using a single-arm laparoscopic surgical robot in China, according to the Beijing Friendship Hospital affiliated with Capital Medical University.

Based on a large number of animal experiments, research teams from the Beijing Friendship Hospital and the First Hospital of Lanzhou University used a domestically developed surgical robot to perform a single-port laparoscopic cholecystectomy. A single-port laparoscopic surgery is generally performed in the thoracic or abdominal cavity through a single small incision of two to three centimetres on the surface of the body.


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