China’s humanoid robot industry is getting increasingly hot as a new member has arrived on the scene.
Jiasu Jinhua, or evolution at an accelerated speed, is a startup based in Beijing that is devoted to humanoid robotics.
The startup, founded only in June this year, raised tens of millions of yuan from its angel round on October 8, from a handful of investors including TJVC, tech media outlet 36kr reported yesterday.
Founded by a former senior executive at ByteDance (字节跳动), the new venture claims to specialize in humanoids with exceptional locomotion as well as motion control platform that stands out for ease of use.
Cheng Hao, founder and CEO of this firm, said it had constructed a prototype of a humanoid biped less than three years after its inception.
The recent frenzy over humanoids has gripped China’s tech community, with established corporations like Xiaomi and up-and-comers like Fourier Intelligence (傅利叶智能) and Unitree (宇树科技) jumping on the bandwagon.
According to Cheng, the robot per se, athletic intelligence and large language model (LLM) are pivotal to a humanoid.
Of the trio of factors, LLM stands to make the robot smarter, allowing it to better converse and engage with mankind.
The advances made by OpenAI’s ChatGPT and a few other LLMs have considerably improved the level of cognitive intelligence for robots.
On the other hand, motion control remains one of the main hurdles to robotic products featuring enhanced locomotion, dexterity and athletic intelligence. Significant breakthroughs are still elusive in this realm, Cheng noted.
By adopting force control joints and a bipedal design, the startup seeks to roll out what it says is “the most reliable, stable humanoid” capable of performing complex movements with sufficient precision.
What might set the company apart from its domestic rivals is that its motion control algorithms could be applied across humanoid models of different configurations and sizes, effectively lowering R&D costs and accelerating R&D speed.
This means the firm could launch humanoids catering to a variety of scenarios and requirements at a competitive pace to keep up with evolving market demand.
Cheng said the company’s primary focus for the time being is on supplying AI companies and research institutes with open-source humanoids to run tests and base future development on.
Mass production and delivery is also on the firm’s agenda. As it continues to iterate its products and technologies, the young startup looks to steadily expand its offerings to enterprise-grade and consumer-facing sectors.