Friday, November 6, 2015 11:17 am
“Can I buy you a cup of coffee?” said Jiao Jiao, who was stationed at a booth at the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai.
“I can also sing songs, too,” the tiny voice continued. As she finished, the hit song “Little Apple” started blasting from speakers in the hall.
Jiao Jiao, is a robot developed by a technology company in east China’s Jiangsu Province. She is one of the many high-tech robots drawing the crowds at the ongoing China International Industry Fair in Shanghai.
Expectations are high among manufacturers as they rush to make industrial robots to offset China’s lack of workers and soaring labor costs.
At the Shanghai expo, which runs from Nov. 3 to 7, both domestic and foreign manufacturers have brought their latest robots to satisfy China’s appetite for smart products.
Siasun Robot & Automation Co. Ltd,, which has its headquarters in northeast China’s Shenyang City, chose the expo to unveil China’s first domestic seven-axis robot.
“Our product is of highly flexibility and precise,” a Siasun spokesperson said at the expo. “It will contribute to industrial manufacturing.”
The importance of industrial robots is reflected in the decision to expand the robot exhibition area to 30,000 square meters this year, 20,000 square meters more than last year, according to the event organizer.
Chinese businesses are looking to industrial robots to ease the pressure of a lack of manpower. China is currently the world’s biggest robot market. Some 56,000 industrial robots were sold here last year, up 55 percent year on year — accounting for one quarter of global robot sales, according to China Economic and Social Council.
The government has named robots one of the ten key industries to develop in a fresh government blueprint that outlines China’s development for the next five years.
“As the robotics industry gains steam, robots will not only expand to dangerous jobs, but also replace cheap labor at repetitive and boring jobs,” said Dai Liu, head of the Shanghai Robot Industry Association. “I see bright prospects for the industry.”