Miracle Automation (天奇股份, 002009.SZ), a listed manufacturer of industry engineering and smart logistics equipment, announced yesterday that it had signed a strategic cooperation agreement with UBTech (优必选), a domestic pioneer in humanoid robot.
The two companies will work together in fields such as new energy vehicle, 3C, smart logistics and other industrial segments and applications.
They will also set up a joint venture to tap into robotics at an opportune moment, a press release says.
Headquartered in Wuxi of Jiangsu Province and founded in 1984, Miracle Automation went public on Shenzhen Stock Exchange in 2004, involved in business areas ranging from smart equipment to recyclable equipment, from heavy machinery to lithium-ion battery recycling.
On June 21 last year, in response to online investor queries, Miracle Automation said one of its wholly owned subsidiaries had built assembly lines for Shenzhen-based UBTech in Kunming, Shenzhen, Chongqing and Guiyang.
Among these plants, the first phase of UBTech’s Kunming factory was completed and went into operation as early as 2020, becoming the first domestic production line for AI-driven humanoid robots.
The two firms’ cooperation dated back to an earlier time. In September 2020, Miracle Automation and UBTech founded Uqi Robot (优奇智能), a startup supplying high-end manufacturers with AMRs and digital management solutions.
Uqi was 24.32% owned by Miracle Automation and 36.22% owned by UBTech, with the remaining stake going to other investors.
Three years on, Miracle Automation’s new partnership with UBTech — whose IPO bid is being screened by HKEX — is expected to cover the adoption of humanoid robots in industrial use cases on one front and the production of core parts for humanoid robots on another.
Nonetheless, market pundits pointed out that it is unlikely for humanoid robots to be utilized in a factory scenario in the short-to-medium term.
Hence the tie-up between the two sides is believed to be aimed more at unlocking future growth potential.
Instead, humanoid robots are expected to become ripe for commercial adoption first in service and specialized industries that place a greater emphasis on a human-like appearance and AI prowess, said GGII, an automation and robot-focused market intelligence provider.
GGII also predicted earlier that humanoid robot as a share of service robot will reach 3.5% of the global total, with its market size hitting US$2 billion in 2026 and projected to jump tenfold to US$20 billion in 2030.