Mo­bile, in­tel­li­gent and ready to ful­fil peo­ple’s daily needs

China Daily (USA) - - BUSINESS - By OUYANG SHIJIA ouyang­shi­jia@ chi­nadaily.com.cn

“Your Royal High­ness, my name is Run. I have a gift for you, please push the ‘open’ but­ton to re­ceive your present.” That’s the hu­man­like voice of a ro­bot... waisthigh, cylin­dri­cal, mo­bile, wear­ing a bow tie and gen­tle­manly... in­struct­ing Prince An­drew, theDuke of York, on his re­cent visit to China.

The ro­bot gifted a note­book with an em­broi­dered cover to the prince, who ap­peared pleased with both the gift and his new Chi­nese “friend”, who, avoid­ing the crowds and ob­sta­cles, guided him through the hall to the ex­hi­bi­tion stand from the exit.

De­signed by Yunji Tech­nol­ogy, a Chi­nese startup, Run is the lat­est ver­sion of ro­bots that have been im­press­ing VIPs of late. Pitt, Run’s pre­de­ces­sor, had “in­ter­acted” closely with Premier Li Ke­qiang and then be­came an on­line celebrity.

Yunji has mul­ti­ple patents in ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence in China. The com­pany fo­cuses on the de­vel­op­ment and com­mer­cial­iza­tion of au­ton­o­mous ro­bots, es­pe­cially for de­liv­er­ing goods.

Zhi Tao, co-founder and CEOofYunji, said he be­lieves the key is to make ev­ery ro­bot move freely.

“Inorder to bring ro­bots to the masses, it is im­por­tant to make them move eas­ily. Once it is not fixed to one phys­i­cal lo­ca­tion, just like hu­man, its abil­ity will be en­hanced and then it can serve us bet­ter.

“We are com­mit­ted

In or­der to bring ro­bots to the masses, it is im­por­tant to make them move eas­ily.” of Yunji

to Zhi Tao,

co-founder and CEO

mak­ing the ro­bots move eas­ily within 1 kilo­me­ter for use in both in­door and out­door sce­nar­ios, in­clud­ing ho­tels, of­fice build­ings, shop­ping malls, hos­pi­tals, com­mu­ni­ties and so forth.”

Founded in 2014, the com­pany cur­rently has nearly 40 ser­vice ro­bots op­er­at­ing in ho­tels, of­fices and of­fice build­ings. They cover al­most 30 high-end ho­tels.

Equipped with ad­vanced po­si­tion­ing sys­tem, the bell­boy ro­bots can au­to­mat­i­cally iden­tify and avoid ob­sta­cles and peo­ple. Once a ro­bot be­comes part of the in­ter­net of things, it can com­mu­ni­cate with el­e­va­tors, move up and down the ho­tel floors, ar­rive at the door, no­tify guests of tele­phone calls, de­liver items they need, such as food, wa­ter and tow­els.

In July, Yunji signed a strate­gic co­op­er­a­tion agree­ment with Changcheng Prop­erty Group, a lead­ing Chi­nese prop­erty en­ter­prise. The two com­pa­nies will con­duct re­search on pos­si­ble ap­plica-

tions of ser­vice com­mu­ni­ties.

It is ex­pected such ro­bots will be ma­te­ri­al­ize by the end of this year or at the be­gin­ning of next year, and be­come op­er­a­tional in the mid­dle of 2017.

“It is a huge in­dus­try,” Zhi said. “The Chi­nese com­mer­cial-use ro­bot­ics mar­ket will reach tens of bil­lions of yuan by 2018.”

Wang Tian­ran, an acade- ro­bots in mi­cian at the China Acad­emy of En­gi­neer­ing, told Xin­hua News Agency ear­lier that China’s de­mand for ser­vice ro­bots had grown rapidly.

He said thanks to strong pol­icy sup­port, there will be more new ro­bots to meet peo­ple’s daily needs.

In the past, Yunji re­ceived fund­ing from iF­lytek Co Ltd, a Chi­nese com­pany ded­i­cated to in­tel­li­gent speech and lan­guage tech­nolo­gies.

SHEN BOHAN / XIN­HUA

Alibaba’s staff mem­bers cel­e­brate in Shen­zhen the suc­cess of the shop­ping spree on Nov 11.

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