China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has recently issued comprehensive guidelines for the advancement of humanoid robots, outlining strategic plans to be accomplished by 2025 and 2027. With the objective of establishing an innovative system for humanoid robots within the next five years, China aims to make significant breakthroughs in crucial technologies such as robot “brain, cerebellum, and limbs.” The primary objectives of these plans are to ensure the secure and efficient supply of core components, elevate the international competitiveness of Chinese robots, and facilitate their widespread use in various sectors, including special operations, manufacturing, and livelihood services.
China’s vision extends beyond mere technological advancements to a comprehensive effort to cultivate a thriving ecosystem around humanoid robots. By 2025, the goal is to foster two to three globally influential ecological enterprises, a group of specialized small- and medium-sized enterprises, as well as two to three industrial clusters focused on developing new business models and forms. Furthermore, the country aims to significantly enhance the technological innovation capability of humanoid robots and establish a robust, reliable industrial supply chain by 2027, making it globally competitive.
Humanoid robots, which integrate cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), high-end manufacturing, and new materials, are anticipated to become the next paradigm-altering product after computers, smartphones, and new energy vehicles. The MIIT recognizes their enormous potential to drive future industries and promote economic growth. Although China has made strides in the domain of humanoid robots, it faces a lag in critical areas such as key basic components, operating systems, and industrial ecology. The issued guidelines, therefore, focus on providing policy guidance, pooling resources, boosting innovation in key technologies, and fostering new productivity to address these gaps.
The issuance of these guidelines has been lauded as a “crucial step in the right direction” by Wang Peng, an associate research fellow at the Beijing Academy of Social Sciences. Wang believes that the integration of research and development resources with a market-based approach will be greatly facilitated by the guidelines. Additionally, various local governments have released their action plans to support the development of the robotics industry, specifically humanoid robots, including initiatives in Beijing, Shenzhen, and Shanghai.
- What are the strategic plans for humanoid robot development in China?
China aims to establish an innovative system for humanoid robots by 2025 and achieve breakthroughs in key technologies by 2027. The plans include ensuring the safe and effective supply of core components, elevating international competitiveness, and cultivating an ecosystem around humanoid robots.
- What are the areas of focus for China’s humanoid robot development?
The key areas of focus include strengthening policy guidance, pooling resources, promoting innovation in key technologies, and fostering new productivity in order to address the challenges faced by the country’s humanoid robot industry.
- What are the expected applications of humanoid robots?
Humanoid robots, integrating advanced technologies like AI, high-end manufacturing, and new materials, are expected to find application in various sectors such as special operations, manufacturing, livelihood services, and potentially even as household companions.
- What is the market potential for humanoid robots?
According to Xinhua, the global humanoid robot market is projected to reach a scale of 1.9 trillion yuan ($263.9 billion) by 2030. China’s market is expected to account for 376.2 billion yuan ($51.4 billion) of that figure.