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Chinese Academy of Sciences Unveils 'Q Family' Humanoid Robots: A Glimpse into the Future of Robotics

Humanoid robots developed by the Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CASIA), known as the "Q family," have made their public debut in Beijing. The robots, with different configurations, can receive instructions and complete tasks with precision, thanks to their training with large language models (LLMs). The Q1 robot demonstrated its ability to select vegetables based on visual recognition and even shoot arrows, showcasing its versatility.

Beijing, China - Humanoid robots have long been hailed as the next disruptive technology, following in the footsteps of personal computers, smartphones, and new energy vehicles. Now, the Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CASIA), has unveiled several prototypes of their "Q family" humanoid robots, showcasing their broad development potential and application scenarios.


These humanoid robots, each with different configurations, offer a range of functions and characteristics. During a recent interview with China Media Group (CMG), a researcher demonstrated the capabilities of the high-dynamic "Q1" robot. With the help of large language models (LLMs), the robot can receive instructions and complete tasks with precision. For example, when given commands like "pick the starchiest vegetable" or "pick the spicy one," the robot can autonomously identify and select the appropriate vegetable from a pile, thanks to its visual recognition capabilities.


But the Q1 robot doesn't stop there. It also possesses the ability to shoot arrows, a feat that poses a significant challenge for robots. With a total weight of around 15 kilograms, the robot's two robotic arms move simultaneously to the front when shooting an arrow, causing a forward tilt in its center of gravity. To maintain stable standing, the robot adjusts its center of gravity by calibrating the motors in the hip and knee joints. Additionally, the robot must counteract the impact of the bow's release by adjusting the motors in each hip joint and each robotic arm. These precise adjustments ensure a smooth and accurate action of shooting an arrow.


In addition to these impressive skills, the "Q family" humanoid robots also demonstrated their ability to recharge a cell phone and fetch drinks for their instructor. Lu Hao, an associate research fellow at CASIA, believes that the combination of humanoid robots and LLMs will have numerous applications in various fields, including home services, entertainment, scientific research, and manufacturing, within the next one to two years. He further predicts that within the next three to five years, these robots may become an integral part of everyday life.


The development of these versatile humanoid robots is made possible by an AI-supported "big factory" for robot manufacturing. Led by Qiao Hong, an academic at CAS and director of the state key laboratory of multimodal artificial intelligence systems, the research team has created a sophisticated factory that utilises AI technologies to design and assemble the humanoid robots. By setting the application scenarios and tasks, the factory can automatically complete the hardware design and software algorithm selection, resulting in an optimal design. This streamlined process significantly shortens the research and development period, allowing for more intelligent robots with a greater variety of applications.


While China has witnessed a growing trend in the development of intelligent humanoid robots for various industries, there are three key requirements that must be met for widespread adoption: high performance, low cost, and mass production. To achieve this, the research team at CASIA has dedicated efforts to develop their own components and parts, aiming to replace foreign components and reduce costs. However, the ultimate challenge lies in ensuring the consistent performance of the robots. Qiao Hong emphasises the need to integrate software and hardware solutions to create a high-performing, low-cost, and highly stable system, which will pave the way for practical applications.


China has been accelerating the industrialisation of humanoid robots, with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology issuing guiding opinions for their innovative development. The goal is to establish a preliminary innovation system for humanoid robots by 2025 and achieve breakthroughs in key technologies by focusing on the "brain, cerebellum, and limbs" of robots. By 2027, China aims to significantly enhance the technological innovation capability of humanoid robots, establish a safe and reliable industrial supply chain, and build an internationally competitive industrial ecology.

 
  • Humanoid robots developed by the Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CASIA), known as the "Q family," have made their public debut in Beijing.

  • The robots, with different configurations, can receive instructions and complete tasks with precision, thanks to their training with large language models (LLMs).

  • The Q1 robot demonstrated its ability to select vegetables based on visual recognition and even shoot arrows, showcasing its versatility.


Source: CGTN

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