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Factory Automation Becoming More Human-Like

Walker S, UBTech Robotics' humanoid robot, blurs the distinction between humans and machines in automotive manufacture. The company raised more than HK$1 billion ($128 million) in its initial public offering on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Humanoid robots have the potential for use in industry, commercial services, and home companionship.

Walker S, a humanoid robot built by Chinese AI and humanoid robotics company UBTech Robotics, can easily verify automobile door locks, test seat belts, examine headlight covers, and even affix car emblems. This cutting-edge technology is generating excitement, and UBTech Robotics is working hard to broaden its application across multiple industries.

UBTech Robotics made news in December when its humanoid robot rang the Hong Kong Stock Exchange's opening bell, signalling the company's final initial public offering in 2023. On that day, the company raised more than HK$1 billion ($128 million), cementing its position as "China's first humanoid robot stock". With several local businesses competing to commercialise their humanoid robots, UBTech Robotics is at the forefront of this developing sector.

Zhou Jian, chairman and CEO of UBTech Robotics, stated that the company is committed to increasing the technological capabilities of humanoid robots and applying creative technology to key social concerns. UBTech Robotics focuses on three main application scenarios for humanoid robots: manufacturing, commercial services, and home companions.

While the global humanoid robot market is projected to grow at a rate of 52.8 percent annually from 2023 to 2030, experts acknowledge that humanoid robots are still in the early stages of development. Design shortcomings and a misalignment with customer needs are among the challenges faced by this technology. Additionally, there are technological and cost hurdles that need to be overcome.

However, Goldman Sachs Research predicts a significant demand for humanoid robots in structured environments like manufacturing in the future. Goldman Sachs Research identifies possible uses in mining, disaster recovery, nuclear reactor maintenance, and chemical manufacture. Customers may be prepared to pay a premium for robots that can undertake dangerous tasks that people are unwilling to do. Furthermore, robots can help to alleviate labour shortages in industries that do not have enough personnel.

While human labour is still required in the age of industrial automation, humanoid robots can work with traditional automation technology to solve complicated problems and execute difficult jobs on their own. UBTech Robotics is currently researching the use of humanoid robots in industrial applications such as new energy vehicles and smart logistics. Furthermore, as humanoid robots become more sophisticated and provide a broader range of services, they will soon invade our homes.

UBTech Robotics focuses not just on industrial applications, but also on smart healthcare. The company has developed a smart healthcare strategy and signed strategic collaboration agreements with organisations such as Medical Care Service Co Inc (MCS) in Japan. This approach accords with UBTech Robotics' goal of catering to China's rising senior population.

With 900 corporate clients in over 50 countries, UBTech Robotics is making considerable progress in artificial intelligence education, smart logistics, eldercare, and commercial services.

  • UBTech Robotics' humanoid robot, Walker S, blurs the line between humans and machines in auto manufacturing.

  • The company raised over HK$1 billion ($128 million) in its initial public offering on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

  • Humanoid robots have potential applications in manufacturing, commercial services, and home companionship.


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