In the first half of 2014, the EU launched the world's biggest civilian robot research and development plan, with total investment of 2.8 billion Euros. Last year, the US released its robot development plan and roadmap, which focuses on developing new generation robots that can work closely with human beings. South Korea also issued its second five year plan on developing intelligent robots. Robots have become an important growth point of the new industrial revolution, and will exert significant influence over the global manufacturing industry.
According to information released by the Ministry of Science and Technology, after nearly 30 years work, China's robot research and development chain, extending from basic research for applications to industrialized production, is now in place. The industrial robot and service robot industry is taking shape.
Moreover, China's research and development of robots serving in special environments has made great progress. China has successfully developed its Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) capable of exploring the ocean down to 6,000 meters, a long-voyage underwater robot, an underwater vehicle designed for maximum dive depth of 7000 meters (Jiaolong), and the Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV). These achievements have laid a solid foundation for the research into and large-scale application of robots. China's self-developed operating maintenance robots for multiple types of nuclear reactors have been brought into service. Several types of robots designed for disaster relief, public security and other fields have entered the pilot stage.
China's robot industry offers huge prospects for growth. In recent years, the number of newly installed industrial robots has increased by 30 percent annually. According to statistics released by China Robot Industry Alliance, 37,000 industrial robots were sold in China in 2013, ranking the Chinese market first in the world. Assuming that China has a total of 100 million industrial workers, by 2020, China is expected to have installed 1.3 million robots to meet the average level of 150 robots per 10,000 workers; and by 2030, China is expected to have installed 2.5 million robots to meet the developed level of 250 robots per 10,000 workers.
Cai Hegao, academician of Chinese Academy of Engineering, said: "We can't give up China's robot market to foreign suppliers. We need to develop our own technologies and occupy the market with self-developed robots."