[Mot-clé Chine]Promoting the Development of Service Robots with New “Humanity” Technology for Unmanned Services | Nikkei BP Research Institute

Robots can be broadly divided into industrial robots and service robots, but the momentum of service robot development is particularly remarkable in China. In the Beijing Winter Olympics and the Beijing Paralympic Winter Games, which ended earlier, various service robots such as epidemic prevention patrol robots, guide robots, service robots and disinfection robots will be occupied inside and outside the venue, the athletes’ village at each competition. was working. Service robots are also playing an active role in responding to the spread of novel coronavirus infections to reduce the chance of human contact and reduce the risk of infection. Service robots are starting to blend into our lives with noticeable speed. (Nikkei BP Research Institute)

A foreign media said it was like a live-action version of the recently closed 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, an animated film with the theme of the robot “WALL-E”. Indeed, various intelligent and cool service robots such as epidemic prevention patrol robots, guide robots, service robots and disinfection robots were busy standing and working indoors and outdoors. outside the venue, from the Olympic Winter Village to each competition venue. Recently, the new coronavirus infection has spread again, and even in the front line of the “battlefield” where everyone is united in their hearts and fights against the infection, such service robots are becoming more and more more visible. them.

It can be said that the large army of robots showing such momentum shows the fact that “service robots are starting to blend into our lives with noticeable speed”.

The application of service robots is becoming more and more popular

During the Beijing Winter Olympics and Beijing Paralympic Winter Games, a fancy restaurant in the Olympic and Paralympic Media Center (MMC) opened with a lot of noise and attracted a lot of attention. Robots waited all day here, and depending on the program settings, all processes such as cooking Western and Chinese dishes, making cocktails, etc. were executed automatically without human assistance. These robots have clearly separated roles and are smart and fast, making them one of the most important “volunteers” at the Beijing Olympics.

In addition, service by contactless robots is expected to be widely applied at the Asian Games in Hangzhou in 2022. For example, a mobile temperature measurement/epidemic prevention supervision robot patrols along a set route in the place, monitors the body temperature of the surrounding people, and if it finds a person who exceeds the standard body temperature, it will move to that person. works as a notification. In addition, the 5G disinfection robot will realize a function that identifies the shape of an object, grasps the exact position, and automatically performs disinfection work, navigation, obstacle avoidance, etc. while adjusting flexibly and automatically. ..

Recently, the new coronavirus infection has spread again, and even in the front line of the “battlefield” where all people are united in their hearts and fight the infection, such service robots are becoming more and more visible. them. In hospitals and offices, disinfection robots play an important role in preventing epidemics in public spaces, fighting alongside healthcare workers and labor personnel. At the quarantined hotel, intelligent delivery robots work closely with management staff to transport food and goods for quarantined people, reducing contact between people and reducing the risk of infection.

“Humanity” for unmanned services

Robots can be broadly divided into industrial robots and service robots based on the environment in which they are applied. In recent years, various service robots have appeared one after another like bamboo shoots after rain, and robots that move on wheels, robots with screens, robots with arms, robots with trays , etc. appeared… There are also service robots, food robots, entertainment robots and coffee robots that transport food, and these robots appeared both as the “Cambrian explosion” in the intelligent era.

In some of the unmanned services provided by these robots, smart devices replace humans, completing a process in the service, such as the delivery of packages by unmanned logistics vehicles. There are also combinations of smart devices, creating unmanned consumption and entertainment scenes such as unmanned cafes and smart libraries.

Therefore, the question of how “unmanned service” provided by robots can better meet consumer needs on behalf of humans is a common problem facing all unmanned service plans.

And when trying to provide better unmanned services, smart devices also need “humanity”.

For example, in fancy restaurants, “four none” restaurants without “service staff, purchasing staff, cooks, cashiers” opened a few years ago, and it quickly became a hot topic. . However, the momentum for the development of unmanned restaurants was not as great as the company had originally envisioned, and news of store closures and business suspensions were reported one after another. For the average consumer, there is a need to satisfy their emotions when eating out and they want to be served, but unstaffed restaurants have not been able to fulfill these wishes. In other words, from this point of view, an unmanned service does not necessarily mean “completely unmanned in all scenes”, and it may be better to incorporate human services where appropriate.

Accelerate the promotion of “human-robot collaboration” in the service sector

The novel coronavirus infection is accelerating the arrival of new digitized standards such as artificial intelligence (AI), and in the service industry, “human-robot collaboration” is being promoted at an accelerated pace.

In the restaurant, the robot mainly performs simple tasks that are repeated, and goes back and forth between where the food comes out and the table where the customers are. The service attendant focuses on services such as placing food on the table and welcoming, and organizes the delivery work of the robot in an orderly manner. At the hotel, the front desk and concierge work closely with the delivery robot to rationally sort the customer’s necessities and transport them to the room quickly and efficiently.

Thus, more and more service robots have appeared in the service industry, and the scene of human-robot collaboration, which was previously limited to factories, is often present in our daily lives. digital and smarter technology.

Accelerate the planning and deployment of the robotics industry

Robots are called “pearls at the top of the crown of the manufacturing industry”, and their R&D, manufacturing and application are important indicators that measure the level of scientific and technological innovation and the level of manufacturing of high level in the country. . With next-generation information technology and new materials technology accelerating the fusion with robot technology, it can be said that the time has come to accelerate the planning and development of the robot industry.

China’s robot industry is now moving towards the middle class and upper class. During the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020), the combined annual growth rate of China’s robot industry averaged about 15%, and sales exceeded 100 billion yuan (1 yuan is about 19. 5 yen). China’s robotics industry has almost formed an all-industry chain system that covers everything from parts to finished machines, and even embedded applications, and innovations in core technologies and key parts are promoted so orderly to develop and mass manufacture finished machines. The ability is continuously improving.

Recently, 15 relevant authorities such as the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (Ministry of Industry and Information Technology) jointly announced the “Robot Industry Development Plan for the 14th five-year plan (2021-25)”. This indicates that China’s robotics industry has entered a period of strategic opportunity for autonomy and revolutionary development. (Source: Japanese version of People’s Network)

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