Robot manufacturers focus on middle and high-end market

Photo taken on Aug. 21, 2019 shows domestic robots exhibited at the World Robot Exhibition in Beijing, capital of China. (Xinhua/Li Xin)

China’s robot market will be worth an estimated $8.7 billion in 2019, accounting for about 30 percent of the global robotics market, according to a report released by the Chinese Institute of Electronics.

However, domestic brands only occupy one-third of the industrial robot market, while foreign brands own a larger share.

To grab a bigger share of the market, Chinese companies are now developing technologies and manufacturing middle and high-end industrial robots.

Rokae company in China has been developing robots that could be applied to an area almost untouched by this technology. China is an important manufacturer of cutting tools, yet many foreign companies have not yet noticed the potential in the industry for robotic products, said Han Fengtao, Chief Technology Officer with Rokae.

The company developed a six-axis industrial robot that could imitate professionals and control its force precisely when sharpening ceramic and metal tools, ensuring the consistency of products.

The report pointed out that the priority for China’s industrial robot manufacturers is still to make breakthroughs in core technologies.

Core technologies include new materials, core components, control chips, operating systems and creative capabilities in areas such as autonomous learning, collaboration, control and algorithms, said Huai Jinpeng, a computer scientist.

The report said that domestic robot brands have been able to manufacture controllers independently with the cooperative efforts of the government, industry and scientific institutions.

Meanwhile, the intelligence of domestically-made service robots has increased dramatically, now able to compete with the global forerunners.

In 2018, sales of domestic brand industrial robots increased by 16.2 percent while those of foreign brands fell 11 percent from 2018.