(Yicai Global) Aug. 31 -- Driven by advances in artificial intelligence and a growing market, China's demand for service robots has increased dramatically and is poised to overtake that for industrial robots.
After rapid recent development, the global market for service robots will grow to USD2.9 billion this year and reach USD6.9 billion by 2020, Chinese newspaper Economic Information Daily reported today.
Some Chinese service robots have started industrial production, said Song Xiaogang, executive vice president of China Machinery Industry Federation. They are developed for eldercare, aid for the disabled, healthcare, entertainment and education.
However, Chinese manufacturers are too reliant on foreign software and core technologies, said Zhao Jie, head of Harbin Institute of Technology's Institute of Robotics. Currently, all key parts and 70 percent to 80 percent of high-end components are imported.
Chinese consumers have enormous demand for service robots, but the industry is still at an early stage of industrialization, and product safety and reliability need to be further improved, Song added. In particular, some privacy and ethical issues still need to be addressed through legislation for home service robots.