Date
27 May 2017
There are very few Chinese firms that can make advanced devices such as the six-axis robot. Photo: Internet
There are very few Chinese firms that can make advanced devices such as the six-axis robot. Photo: Internet

China falls short in key areas in robotics tech

Last year, China’s home-grown brands produced more than 22,000 robotics devices, an increase of 31 percent compared to 2014.

The impressive growth, however, masks a key problem: the products are mostly low-end models.

China is lagging in almost all key aspects in robotics technology, including those related to the controller (or the brain), programming and servo motors.

The country still largely depends on imports for the core parts, which make up as much as 70 percent of the cost.

There are three major weaknesses commonly seen among mainland makers, a senior executive from robotics maker Siasun told China Daily.

The first is that very few domestic manufacturers can produce advanced models such as the six-axis robots, which can operate on multiple axes and are nimble enough to perform complicated tasks.

In this segment, foreign brands command 90 percent of the China market.

The second area where mainland makers are rarely present is welding robotics. Here, foreign brands have 84 percent of the market.

Thirdly, in high-end robotics geared toward auto industry, top foreign makers again account for 90 percent market share.

Mainland makers are mostly focused on simple robots used in logistics, which basically move materials or goods from one spot to another.

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RC

EJ Insight writer

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