China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) published a circular on September 13 urging efforts to develop the nation’s humanoid robotics and create application scenarios to fast-track adoption.
The ministry issued a document outlining a number of goals to be met by 2025, as part of its bid to nurture so-called “future-facing” industries.
For instance, it places an emphasis on the R&D of shoulder, elbow, wrist joints and agile hands of humanoid robots.
The goal is that by 2025, Chinese-built humanoids will possess sufficient degrees of freedom in line with motion control and operational capabilities.
The MIIT document surprised the public and industry observers with its specific mention of technical specs of indigenously made humanoids.
For instance, the end of robotic fingers should have a payload of 3kg and more, with position, force and tactile sensors all integrated into the hand, it indicates.
The document also states that the humanoid robotic arm should weigh less than 9kg, as well as be designed to support standard communication APIs for a range of industries.
MIIT also encourages domestic research institutes and companies to develop linguistic large language models (LLM) and enhance efficiency over the course of deployment.
“By 2025, homemade linguistic LLMs are to real global standards,” the document demands.
It’s common for Chinese officials to set goals in areas they believe are of strategic importance or represent the future.
CITIC Securities, a leading brokerage firm, said in a research note that official initiatives like these can push firms to solve bottlenecks such as reliance on imported technologies in the robotic industry.
As a result, this will pave the way for iteration of core robotic technologies, cost reductions throughout the industrial chain, increasing numbers of use cases, scale-up production and adoption of humanoids, CITIC said.
It suggested investors pay attention to companies making robots and related components.
Apart from humanoid robotics, the MIIT also called for efforts to tap metaverse, brain-machine interface and artificial general intelligence, by focusing on technological innovation, products, public support and demonstrative applications.