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China's Ambitious Plan to Mass-Produce Humanoid Robots

China's Ambitious Plan to Mass-Produce Humanoid Robots

China has unveiled an ambitious plan to mass-produce humanoid robots, comparing their potential impact to that of smartphones. In a blueprint document released by China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), these robots are envisioned to "reshape the world."

The MIIT's roadmap outlines that by 2025, these humanoid robots will have reached an "advanced level" and will be produced on a mass scale. The document describes them as potential "disruptive products" following the trajectory of computers, smartphones, and new energy vehicles.

While the document was noted for its ambition and lack of specific details, several Chinese companies are actively working towards achieving the country's ambitious robotic goals. For example, the Chinese startup Fourier Intelligence has announced plans to commence mass production of its GR-1 humanoid robot by the end of the year. The company, based in Shanghai, aims to deliver thousands of robots in 2024 capable of traveling at speeds of up to 5 kilometers per hour and carrying loads of 50 kilograms.

Other companies worldwide are also intensifying their efforts in humanoid robot production. Agility Robotics, based in the United States, is set to open a robot factory in Oregon with plans to manufacture hundreds of bipedal robots that can replicate human movements such as walking, crouching, and carrying packages. Amazon is exploring the use of Agility Robotics' Digit robot to automate its warehouses.

Tesla, too, has ventured into the field of humanoid robotics with its project named Optimus or Tesla Bot, as revealed by Elon Musk in 2021. However, it's worth noting that mass production of these robots is still in the early stages, with Musk acknowledging that the prototype had only recently achieved independent walking without support during a Tesla AI Day event in 2022. The development of humanoid robots appears to be a global trend, with various companies and countries exploring their potential applications and impact.


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