Startup Agibot to launch first humanoid robot on Aug 18, co-founder reveals

Since Peng announced his leap into tech entrepreneurship, the domestic tech community has been abuzz with speculation about when his first release will come out and what it will be.

Agibot (智元机器人), a startup founded by one of China’s tech prodigies and a Huawei alumnus, will launch its first humanoid robot on August 18.

Zhi Huijun, the avatar of Peng Zhihui, co-founder of the Shanghai-headquartered tech firm, revealed yesterday via his microblogging service that its embodied AI robot Yuanzheng A1 — Yuanzheng literally translates as expedition — will make its debut on August 18.

He didn’t offer more details on the soon-to-be-unveiled product, but a company poster affords a glimpse into its possible appearance. It shows a silhouette of a human-shaped robot standing on two legs.

This will be a milestone in the history of the startup, which was founded in February this year.

Since Peng announced his leap into tech entrepreneurship, the domestic tech community has been abuzz with speculation about when his first release will come out and what it will be.

Born in 1993 to a family in eastern China’s Jiangxi Province, Peng grew up loving science and technology.

Upon his graduation from University of Electronic Science and Technology with a master’s in 2018, he joined the AI lab of smartphone giant Oppo’s research institute as an algorithm engineer.

He left Oppo for Huawei in 2020, where he was involved in developing AI chips under the Ascend brand and researching AI algorithms.

Huawei prodigy cum tech influencer

Peng rose to prominence over the many video clips he posted about hard tech products on Bilibili, a video-sharing website similar to YouTube.

His crowing glory came in 2021, when Bilibili recognized him as one of its 100 most influential content creators for that year.

Even Huawei’s founder, chairman and CEO Ren Zhengfei once publicly praised him and his work, saying he represented the dynamics of Huawei’s innovation.

“To those with the 2012 Lab (Huawei’s lab dedicated to theoretical research), Huawei has never foisted any restrictions on you. Someone experimented with a self-driving bike, and didn’t feel bound by company rules,” said Ren, referring to an autonomous bike put together by Peng and his co-workers.

Although Huawei will not venture into bike production, these skill sets are a “scalpel” he masters, and may become handy or unleash some kind of enormous commercial value, Ren added.

Peng has been basking in adulation since his stint at Huawei, earning nicknames such as “Mr. Zhihui,” “Huawei’s prodigy” and “free-wheeling iron man.”

When was asked about his entrepreneurial program after leaving Huawei, Peng wrote in a microblogging entry in December last year that he will “embark on a new venture and engage in something more challenging.”

“This is not because we have the confidence to do it well, but because this has been our passion and dream all along,” the former influencer said.

China’s emerging humanoid robot space has drawn an increasing number of tech experts and enthusiasts, from entrenched leaders like Xiaomi, to up-and-coming startups like Fourier Intelligence and even college researchers and students.

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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, 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

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