Abstract: Robots have been widely used in high-tech industries such as equipment manufacturing, new materials, biomedicine, and smart new energy. The integration and development of robots and artificial intelligence technology, advanced manufacturing technology, and mobile Internet technology have promoted the transformation of human society’s lifestyle.
1. Overview of Robot Innovation and Development
Robots are automated equipment that integrates advanced technologies such as machinery, electronics, control, sensing, and artificial intelligence. Since the birth of the robot industry in 1956, after nearly 60 years of development, robots have been widely used in high-tech industries such as equipment manufacturing, new materials, biomedicine, and smart new energy. The integration and development of robots and artificial intelligence technology, advanced manufacturing technology, and mobile Internet technology have promoted the transformation of human society’s lifestyle.
At present, my country’s robot market has entered a period of rapid growth. Industrial robots have become the world’s largest application market for five consecutive years. There is a huge demand for service robots, the localization of core components has been accelerating, a large number of innovative companies have emerged, and some technologies have been formed. Chemical products, and has obvious advantages in some areas.
(1) The development process of robot innovation
Figure 1 Robot innovation and development process
The first stage is the budding stage of development. In 1954, the first programmable robot was born in the United States. In 1958, the American inventor Engelberg established Unimation, and in 1959 developed the world’s first industrial robot. At this stage, with the development of mechanism theory and servo theory, the robot has entered the practical stage.
The second stage is the incubation period of the industry. In 1962, the American AMF company produced the first cylindrical coordinate robot. In 1969, Japan developed the first robot that walks with two arms. At the same time, Japan, Germany, and other countries are facing labor shortages and other problems, so they have invested heavily in research and development of robots, and their technology has developed rapidly, becoming a robot power. At this stage, with the development of computer technology, modern control technology, sensor technology, and artificial intelligence technology, robots have also developed rapidly. The robots of this period belonged to the “Teach-in/Playback” type robots, which only had memory and storage capabilities, repeated operations according to corresponding procedures, and basically had no perception and feedback control capabilities for the surrounding environment.
The third stage is a period of rapid development. In 1984, the United States launched the HelpMate, a medical service robot that can deliver meals, medicines, and mail to patients in hospitals. In 1999, Sony Corporation of Japan launched AIBO, a large robot. At this stage, with the development of sensor technology, including visual sensors, non-visual sensors (force, touch, proximity, etc.), and information processing technology, sensory robots appeared. Robots such as welding, spraying, and handling are widely used in industrial industries. In 2002, the Danish iRobot company launched the vacuum cleaner robot, which is currently the world’s largest-selling household robot. Since 2006, the trend of modularized robots and unified platforms has become more and more obvious. In the past five years, the global sales of industrial robots have grown at an average annual rate of more than 17%. At the same time, service robots have developed rapidly and their applications have become more extensive. Medical rehabilitation robots represented by surgical robots have formed a large industrial scale. Space robots and bionics Special operation robots such as robots and anti-terrorism and anti-riot robots have been applied.
The fourth stage is the intelligent application period. At this stage, with the iterative upgrade of sensing, computing, and control technologies and the in-depth application of artificial intelligence technologies such as image recognition, natural speech processing, and deep cognitive learning in the robotics field, the service trend in the robotics field has become increasingly obvious and gradually penetrated Go to every corner of social production and life.
(2) The scale of the robot industry accelerates
According to IDC forecasts, the Asia-Pacific market is an absolute leader in the distribution of global robots. It is estimated that its expenditure in 2020 will reach 133 billion US dollars, accounting for 71% of the global market; Europe, the Middle East, and Africa are the second largest regions; Three major markets.
Figure 2 The proportion of the global robot market in 2020
In recent years, various parts of China have been enthusiastic about developing robots, industry applications have been promoted rapidly, and the market scale has increased significantly. In 2017, my country’s robot market reached 6.28 billion U.S. dollars, and in 2020, it is expected to exceed 10 billion U.S. dollars.
Figure 3 China’s robot market scale
Among them, of the 6.28 billion US dollars in 2017, industrial robots were 4.22 billion US dollars, service robots were 1.32 billion US dollars, and special robots were 740 million US dollars. It has become an important force for the steady growth of the global robotics industry.
Figure 4 The proportion of China’s robot classification in 2017
(3) Robot investment and financing continue to heat up
2017 is undoubtedly the busiest year for venture capital in the robotics field, and it is also a bumper year. Many robotic startups have launched seed rounds, A rounds, B rounds, C rounds, and D rounds of venture capital. The flow of capital To a certain extent, it precisely indicates the hotness of the industry. According to statistics, 158 projects in my country have received investment, with a total investment of more than 20 billion yuan.
Figure 5 Investment and financing of China’s robot industry in 2017
In 2017, the world’s outstanding robot startups frequently reported financing news. According to incomplete statistics, 251 projects around the world received investment, with a total investment of more than US$7.6 billion.
Figure 6 Global robot investment and financing in 2017
2. China’s Robot Innovation Top100 Development Forecast
(1) Policy influence trends
In order to optimize the robot industrial structure and achieve industrial upgrading, my country has introduced a series of related industrial policies from 2013 to 2016. For example, in 2013, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology issued the policy “Guiding Opinions on Promoting the Development of Industrial Robots”; in 2015, the State Council issued the policy “Made in China 2025”; in 2016, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the Development and Reform Commission, and the Ministry of Finance issued the policy “Robot Industry Development Plan (2016). -2020)”. Saizhi Industrial Research Institute believes that with the strong support of the government and the transformation and upgrading of traditional industries, it will not only promote the continuous growth of the industrial robot market but also drive the rapid growth of the professional and personal/home service robot market. The robot concept will continue to be popular, The market participation continues to rise.
(2) Technology influence trend
Intelligent technologies such as intelligent perception and cognition, multimodal human-computer interaction, and cloud computing continue to mature, providing a solid foundation for the evolution of intelligent robots. my country is basically at the same starting line as the world in terms of artificial intelligence technology, especially in the field of multi-modal human-computer interaction technology such as image recognition, speech recognition, and semantic recognition. Some of them have approached and reached the world’s leading level. In the future, we will accelerate the independent research and development of core technologies, focus on breakthroughs in key technologies of core components in the upper and middle reaches of the industrial chain, and improve the technological level and independent innovation capabilities of the robotics industry.
Focusing on market demand, strengthen the tracking and integration of new technologies, carry out the reliability design and manufacturing process research of the robot system, and further accelerate the localization rate of key components such as high-precision reducers, controllers, servo motors, and the industrialization of R&D innovation Process, improve the quality and reliability of high-end robot products, and enhance the core competitiveness of independent brands. Establish and improve the robot innovation platform, create a collaborative innovation carrier that closely integrates government, industry, university, research, and use, actively track the future development trend of robots, and deploy forward-looking technology research such as bionic technology, intelligent materials, robot deep learning, and multi-machine collaboration.
(3) Talent influence trend
The era with intelligent manufacturing as the technological background has arrived ahead of schedule. Under the big data conditions of the Internet platform and artificial intelligence technology, robots are becoming more and more intelligent. This has not only improved the skills of my country’s labor force but also opened up new For jobs, robotics engineers have quickly become a sought-after product in the industry, turning them into “intelligent talents”. In the future, cultivating multi-level and multi-type skilled talents from R&D, production, maintenance to system integration will be the key to enhancing the core competitiveness of enterprises.
(4) Capital influence trend
Technology and capital are the two original driving forces of industrial development. Any round of technological innovation must be strongly supported by the capital market, and the long-term benefits of the capital market often come from the grasp and cultivation of technological innovation points. At present, the global robotics industry is in the vent of capital, and my country’s robotics industry capital market is also very active. The use of capital leverage in the robotics industry breaks this linear and one-way transmission mode and forms a structured, multi-level development model for industrial development, which will push the robotics industry into a new era of capital linkage and leaping growth.