Chinese Academy of Sciences researchers debut Q series humanoid robots

The debut of the Q series came as a host of Chinese entities, from established tech titans to early-stage startups, have rushed headlong into the humanoid robot frenzy, regardless of the uncertain prospects of commercialization, at least for now.

At long last, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the nation’s topnotch research institution, joined a number of corporations and researchers in the race to produce humanoid robot.

The Institute of Automation at the academy released on February 4 its inaugural humanoid robot model, or what it calls the Q series.

The debut of the Q series came as a host of Chinese entities, from established tech titans to early-stage startups, have rushed headlong into the humanoid robot frenzy, regardless of the uncertain prospects of commercialization, at least for now.

According to a press release by the institute, the Q series humanoid bipeds were developed on the basis of brain-inspired robotics, among other technologies.

A team of engineers, led by Qiao Hong, a member of the academy, achieved breakthroughs in core technologies such as highly explosive one-in-all joint motor, AI-empowered design, large language model and human-like flexible control.

These innovations are essential to the birth of the Q series, said the release.

Another mass-produced humanoid robot?

The engineers also claimed that they had rolled out multiple units of the Q robot, in different versions and customized for distinct applications.

Technical verification work is now underway to gauge the robot’s ability to adapt to these scenarios.

According to the release, through AI-assisted design, the researchers have equipped their robots with several key skills.

For instance, these robots can learn to maintain their balance, navigate complex terrains, and achieve robust control and powerful kinematics required in an array of environments.

Currently, the software systems of the robot are being iterated to boost its cognitive intelligence performance, which paves the way for carrying out tasks like farm work or outdoor patrol.

Of all the robots under the Q family, Q5 appears to be the top-of-the-line edition.

Advanced locomotion and dexterity

It comes with the Zidong Taichu multimodal large language model which was developed in house by the Institute of Automation.

This configuration allows the robot to fast understand and process tasks it is given in a real-world environment.

This capability proves key to the adoption of the emerging technology across a spectrum of use cases like smart factory operation and household life and services.

Somehow, the institute disclosed no further details concerning their contraption. Key specs such as height, weight, degrees of freedom, torque of actuators and walking speed remain unknown.

But given pictures published along with the release, the robot seems to already possess advanced locomotion and dexterity with its hands.

In several snapshots, it is seen interacting with a lab researcher, shooting an arrow from a bow and pressing on a smartphone.

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Ni Tao

Ni Tao is the founder and editor-in-chief of cnrobopedia. Prior to cnrobopedia, he had a full decade of experience with a major state-run English-language newspaper as a tech reporter and opinion writer. He is also a communications specialist, having provided consultancy services to established firms like Siemens, Philips, ABinBev, Diageo, Trip.com Group (Nasdaq: TCOM, HK: 9961), Jianpu Technology (NYSE: JT) and a handful of domestic startups. A graduate of Fudan University, he writes widely about China's business and tech scenes and other topics for global publications including South China Morning Post, SupChina, The Diplomat, CGTN, Banking Technology, among others, and tries to impart his experience to students at Fudan University Journalism School, where he is a part-time lecturer. When he's not writing about robotics, you can expect him to be on his beloved Yanagisawa saxophones, trying to play some jazz riffs, often in vain and occasionally against the protests of an angry neighbor. Get in touch with him by dropping a line at nitao0927@gmail.com.

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