China’s AI giant SenseTime (商汤科技, HK:0020) launched on June 14 a Go-playing robot, the latest in a series of efforts to popularize AI technologies and increase its revenue streams.
The robot, also named SenseRobot, comes with upgraded AI algorithms and a robotic arm, bearing a striking resemblance to its predecessor, a desktop robot to play Chinese chess with. It made its debut in August 2022.
Carrying a sticker price of 3,999 yuan (US$560), the Go robot supports tutorial and practice sessions, human-machine duels and online games between human players.
“From super-sized data center to compact household robot, SenseRobot is a result of huge strides in computing power, hand-eye collaboration and engineering innovation,” Xu Li, president and CEO of SenseTime, said at the product launch.
“It went through a significant reduction in size and will democratize access to AI for thousands of families. We hope SenseRobot will redefine the future of household robots,” he explained.
Despite the fanfare, the market reaction to SenseRobot was rather lukewarm. SenseTime’s shares closed down 3% on the very day of its release.
Notably, this robot offers users a third mode besides normal training and conventional match, encouraging them to take on virtual masters at Go.
Under this mode, built-in algorithms will derive greater computing power from web servers for the gadget to figure out its next move, said Shen Hui, president of SenseTime Institute of Innovative Engineering.
He added that compared to the Chinese chess-playing robot, the Go version already has been optimized in computing power and algorithms.
“I believe that as our understanding and adoption of AI improves, large language model and large computer vision model will become more widely and intensively applied in consumer-facing and business-oriented products,” Shen noted.