Tesla Bot to bring bonanza for humanoid robot parts makers, research note says

The analysts suggested that investors pay close attention to producers of planetary roller screw, which is one of the most-used types of actuators in humanoid bipeds.

With the looming mass production of humanoid robots like the latest second-generation Optimus from Tesla, multiple Chinese core parts manufacturers are poised to enjoy a bonanza, a major Chinese securities brokage firm said.

China Galaxy Securities issued a research note yesterday, saying that core parts related to humanoid robotics such as sensors, actuators and planetary roller screws, will be essential to the mass production of Tesla’s Optimus in particular and other humanoid robot models in general.

Tesla’s recent video about the improved performance of its Optimus Gen 2 wowed the Chinese tech and business communities, sending some into a frenzy over the “earlier arrival of the humanoid age than expected.”

According to China Galaxy, the biggest highlight in these improvements is in the robot’s perceptive abilities.

Analysts with the brokerage firm wrote that six-dimensional sensors are key to a humanoid robot’s perception of the environment it is in.

Placed strategically at the wrist, ankle and waist of a robot, these sensors will measure force and feedback in a 3D space.

In addition, they control the robot’s arms and hands to complete a series of movements like walking bipedally, gripping an object or stooping to pick something up from the floor, the analysts said.

Keener sense of the environment

They went on to say that electronic skin is another innovation that will give the robot a keener sense of the environment and react with more human-like features.

E-skin is basically a form of tactile sensors that are designed to imitate and even surpass the functions of human skins, such as the sense of touch.

The analysts suggested that investors pay close attention to producers of planetary roller screw, which is one of the most-used types of actuators in humanoid bipeds.

Actuators are divided according to their working mechanisms. Some move in linear motion and some produce a rotary motion or torque.

Plus the mechanical structure of a robot’s nimble hands, actuators can be found in various moving parts of a humanoid with the goal to make it more agile and dexterous.

Galaxy Securities predicted that suppliers of these core parts would benefit first and enormously if Tesla’s Optimus were to go into mass production next year.

But for that scenario to take place, a precondition is to lower the production costs of actuators, especially planetary roller screw.

The room for cost reductions is huge while the competitive barrier is the highest in this segment, said the research note.

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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, Trip.com 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 nitao0927@gmail.com.

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