E. China city holds robot conference, showcases advances of robotic space

Over the past decade, the industrial city has come to possess a complete robotic industrial chain spanning the manufacturing of key parts, robotic bodies and system integration.

China should lift thousands of industries through application of robotics, speakers said at a high-profile industrial conference that opened on December 5.

At the 2023 China Robot Industry Development Conference, held between December 4 and 6 in Wuhu, a boomtown in eastern Anhui Province, close to 1,000 scholars on robotics and corporate practitioners gathered to proffer their thoughts on the sector’s growth over the past year.

The conference also served as a bridge for communication and resource-sharing, Chinese media reports said.

Dr. Susanne Bieller, general secretary of International Federation of Robotics, said in a keynote speech that in coming years, demand for cobots will keep surging.

Its ease of use is as much an important selling point as a crucial market driver, she told the conference.

In the future, the blend of robotics and AI responds to client and societal needs, realizing more intelligent and efficient automation and helping companies come to grips with the uncertainty and vagaries of an external environment, she noted.

It is the second time the annual conference, the 11th since its inception in 2012, was hosted by Wuhu, a city with an emerging robotic industry.

Over the past decade, the industrial city has come to possess a complete robotic industrial chain spanning the manufacturing of key parts, robotic bodies and system integration.

A bigger robotic segment

Statistics show that Wuhu’s robotic sector has brought together more than 220 upstream and downstream firms, with an annual revenue in excess of 30 billion yuan (US$4.22 billion).

The city set the goal to build a robot hub with an annual output of 50 billion yuan by 2025, its mayor said in May.

In the first 10 months of this year, China’s robotic segment raked in 130 billion yuan in revenue, up 9.3% year on year.

Robot imports and exports totaled US$2.66 billion, an increase of 23% from the same period last year.

Industrial robot production hit 353,000 units while 6.43 million service robots were churned out during the same period.

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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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