Oh yes, OS key to ro­bots

China Daily (USA) - - BUSINESS - By MENGJING mengjing@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Yu Zhicheng is con­vinced op­er­at­ing sys­tems hold the key to mak­ing ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence-en­abled ro­bots an im­por­tant part of peo­ple’s ev­ery­day lives.

So, rather than launch ro­bots, Yu’s Bei­jing-based Tur­ing Ro­bot, a startup en­gaged in re­search into com­mer­cial­iza­tion of AI, chose to build an An­droid­based op­er­at­ing sys­tem for ro­bots, to en­able more en­ter­prises to de­sign and de­velop ro­bot prod­ucts.

In late July, the com­pany in­tro­duced it­sTur­ing OS, ver­sion 1.5, an up­grade of its first-gen­er­a­tion OS that was launched about a year ago.

Just as An­droid and iOS are key to smart­phones, op­er­at­ing sys­tems de­signed specif­i­cally for ro­bots can make a dif­fer­ence to this emerg­ing sec­tor, said Yu, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of Tur­ing Ro­bot.

“Apart from us, there is no op­er­at­ing sys­tem in the mar­ket that is ded­i­cated to ro­bots. So, we’ve spent more than a year in de­vel­op­ing one, and in­vested a lot,” he said.

“Then, we found that an op­er­at­ing sys­tem alone isn’t enough. We need to have more ap­pli­ca­tions based on the sys­tem so that ro­bots can be used in a wide range of sce­nar­ios.”

The Tur­ing 1.5 OS now pow­ers more than 10 apps — strong tools to fa­cil­i­tate the devel­op­ment of ro­bots that can chat, sing, take pho­tos and teach English.

De­vel­op­ers can use the new apps in toy ro­bots or sim­i­lar in­tel­li­gent play­things for kids. The move is in line with Yu’s grand am­bi­tion of “bring­ing ro­bots Chi­nese fam­ily”.

Yu es­ti­mates that it may take 10 years for ro­bots to be in­tel­li­gent enough to be used widely. “But for starters, it can be widely adopted by fam­i­lies with chil­dren.”

He fore­sees ro­bots serv­ing as in­ter­con­nec­tiv­ity gate­ways, hook­ing up with smart de­vices and smart home ap­pli­ances — a vari­ant of the in­ter­net of things. “Ro­bots can in­ter­act with peo­ple and con­trol smart de­vices and home ap­pli­ances. They will be­come the ro­bot but­lers at homes,” he said.

The Shen­zhen-listed Al­pha Group Co Ltd, which owns in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty rights over sev­eral pop­u­lar car­toons, in­vested more than 2 bil­lion yuan ($300 mil­lion) early this year to foray into the toy ro­bot in­dus­try. The first-gen­er­a­tion ro­bots, which were de­vel­oped based on Tur­ing OS, are un­der ad­vanced test­ing now. to ev­ery

in­vested by the Shen­zhen-listed Al­pha Group Co Ltd to foray into the toy ro­bot in­dus­try

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