From diagnosing diseases to playing badminton, robotics companies in China got the opportunity to show off how their creations could shape lives around the world. The World Robot Conference showcases the best of the international robotics scene and it just wrapped up in Beijing last week.
A Popular Show
This year's conference attracted over 166 domestic and international companies. The World Robot Conference also brought in over 500 items displayed from those vendors, wowing thousands.
2018 World #Robot Conference showcases innovations in robotics pic.twitter.com/AYnGrZG2re— China Daily (@ChinaDailyUSA) August 18, 2018
Robots at this year's WRC seemed to take a surprisingly natural turn. From flying foxes to robotic fish, nature appeared to be the driving inspiration for several robotics companies.
A girl looks at a robotic fish swim in the water at the World Robot Conference (WRC) in Beijing, China August 15, 2018 #robotics#educationpic.twitter.com/ca6OH7MQX8
— Evan Kirstel (@evankirstel) August 19, 2018
The robots showcased weren't just the helpful robots of the future. There were 57 robot fighting teams that took their creations head-to-head on the World Robot Conference stage.
While the robo-fights might've captured the attention of the adults, children who attended the convention were entertained by testing, building, and wiring their own robots.
In pics: World Robot Conference 2018 in Beijinghttps://t.co/GKmnuQBGaVpic.twitter.com/UJHylrrdhN— People'sDailyOnline (@PDOAUS) August 16, 2018
"With this robot, I can fully express myself. I love the sparks," said Huang Hongsong, one of around a dozen Chinese youths whose creations went head-to-head, in an interview with the media.
Children control robots at the 2018 World Robot Conference in Beijing, capital of China, Aug. 16, 2018. The power of robots is on full display at the 2018 World Robot Conference held in Beijing, where 160 robot makers from China and abroad showcased their products. pic.twitter.com/JRgmVT4fDh— CCTV (@CCTV) August 17, 2018
Interesting Engineering's favorite Bionic Flying Fox robot from Festo even made it to the showcase:
Preparing for the Robot Revolution
While not all of the robotics companies that attended the WRC are based in China, the conference shows the country's commitment to exploring
In 2014, President XI Jinping said he wanted to see a "robot revolution." Everything at this year's conference seemed to echo that need.
"Robots are the jewel in the crown for the manufacturing industry... a new frontier for our industrial revolution," said Xin Guobin, China's vice minister of industry, as he opened the conference.
The country aims for half of its industrial robots to be made by Chinese companies by 2020. By 2025, the government wants 70 percent of all robots in China to be made by Chinese companies.
And on an international scale, China is in the lead for producing and selling the most robots. Over 141,000 units were sold last year, meeting a third of the global demand for bots and automatons.
There's still room for growth, said president of the Siasun company Qu Daokui. Siasun showcased a serpentine robot that could weave through tight passages.
"We used to focus on the accuracy, reliability and speed of robots -- now it's their flexibility, intelligence and adaptability that makes the difference," he said.