CSJ Bot (穿山甲机器人), a Suzhou-based service robot maker, unveiled three new products on February 28 in Suzhou of eastern Jiangsu Province.
One of the new launches, the second-generation, updated “Panda” meal delivery robot, can autonomously navigate itself amidst the crowd thanks to CSJ Robot’s simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) technologies and obstacle avoidance algorithms.
It can pass through aisles between tables as narrow as 45 cm, making it more adroit in a tight space.
According to Song Yugang, founder and CEO of CSJ Bot, the aisle or service space between tables in a typical Chinese restaurant is roughly 80 cm, compared to 50-60 cm in Japan or 50 cm in Hong Kong.
This means meal delivery robot makers need to develop products with a smaller size and better navigation capabilities.
The suspension system installed on “Panda” also allows it to carry out relatively difficult tasks such as delivering soup.
CSJ’s dispatch system Cos2.0 is responsible for coordinating the movement of 99 Panda robots at the same time within a designated spot.
“Panda” comes with three trays with a capacity of 30 kg, able to carry 12 platters of food. On a single charge, which takes three hours, “Panda” has a run time of 12 hours.
The second new launch by CSJ Bot is its “Scud” hotel delivery robot, which is capable of taking the elevator itself and keeping its cabin sealed while on duty.
The robot, with a brand new chassis and motor drive, generates a torque of 9N and moves at 2 meters per second. Better still, the dual suspension system enables Scud to climb over 3cm-high obstacles. With a double-door, double-cabin design, Scud can fulfill two orders on a single errand, carrying up to 100 kg of items.
The third new release from CSJ Bot is its concierge robot, or a robot butler named “Timo.” Designed to recognize 145 languages, the device is able to interface with users and deliver a better experience based on deep learning-powered ASR, knowledge graph and over 100 applications.
The biggest highlight of “Timo” is that it comes with ChatGPT, making the machine-user communication more smooth.
At a price of 9,999 yuan (US$1,444), “Timo” is way cheaper than many domestic and foreign counterparts, CSJ Bot said, adding that this product will mainly target overseas markets.
With tremendous advances in chatbot technologies, especially following the creation of ChatGPT, butler robots will witness a wave of growth opportunities, said Song, founder of CSJ Bot.
He added that opportunities have increased as hardware costs are also coming down.
Notably, contracts for the purchase of 4,000 plus robots were signed at the new product launch on February 28, with a combined worth of 100 million yuan.
China’s service robot market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 40% between 2021 and 2025 to hit 98.4 billion yuan by 2025. And the shipment of delivery or courier robots will rise by a CAGR of 34.8%, while that of robot bellmen is forecast to jump 50% each year in 2021-2026, Song estimated.
Currently, CSJ Bot has five types of concierge robots, four delivery robot models and an outdoor autonomous courier vehicle.
The firm mainly sells through dealers and said it will add a robot-as-a-service (RaaS) model to diversify its operation in 2023. Its products are distributed in 66 countries, serving a total of 6,000 merchants.
Founded in 2006, CSJ Bot switched to commercial service robots in 2012, spanning two categories including concierge robot and delivery robot, which are primarily adopted in scenarios such as exhibition hall, new retail, hospital, government hall, public service, school, restaurant, hotel and bank.