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China Robotics

China Plans To Build a Domestic Robotics Industry 67

jfruh writes China is known as a manufacturing export powerhouse, but it imports much of one particularly important kind of manufacturing tool: robots. Now the country's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology is developing a "robotics technology roadmap," with a goal of owning over 45 percent of the high-end robotics market by 2020.
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China Plans To Build a Domestic Robotics Industry

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Should read "China Plans to Steal a Domestic Robotics Industry".
    • Incorrect headline. (Score:3, Informative)

      by Kartu ( 1490911 )

      Stealing (e.g. learning / copying what others did, legally or not) is a great way to develop industry from scratch.
      Note that many things they do go far beyond stealing. E.g.:
      1) Moon probe returning back to earth
      2) High speed trains (this one started with importing technology from all countries with major know how)
      3) Longest bridge in the world
      4) Biggest dam in the world

      My point is, the steal at times, but they are not limited to it.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Which of your four examples represents technology that was not imported (legitimately or otherwise?) Which of these represent something the US couldn't have done a half century ago?

        The entire robotics industry is on notice that China intends to stop playing fair. Expect everyone else to roll over and accept the beating they will receive just like every other industry in which this has happened.

        • Which of your four examples represents technology that was not imported?

          Importing ideas is completely different from importing goods. We got the "wheel" idea from the Mesopotamians, but we don't import tires from Mesopotamia.

        • Which of these represent something the US couldn't have done a half century ago?

          How about 3 and 4?

          You can speculate all you like, but until it's done, it's just sour grapes to complain that the US could have done it.

        • Which of these represent something the US couldn't have done a half century ago?

          A perhaps more interesting question is, which of these represent something the US could still do today? Sadly, I believe the answer to that question would be 5) None of the above.

          A calamitous failure of the Colorado river dam system would probably cause the collapse of the United States as a single country. The entire western US is dependent on them for both water and power. Yet I'm fairly certain that we Americans couldn't currently muster the political will to replace (or even do major repairs on) just

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Expect the same exact thing that happened to the US solar industry.

          1: Lots of reports about breaches and hacking attempts.
          2: Quiet for six months.
          3: Robotics shipped for cheaper than rare earth or the component materials (was called dumping, and even though Congress has stepped in the past to protect companies like Harley, solar panel companies were not worth it... guess hawgs are far more vital to US national security than energy independence.)
          4: Virtually all PV companies in the US disappeared overnig

      • I'd love to see a Dyson commerical on this, using sucking technology. The super bowl commericals would be epic.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Kind of how the US developed in the 19th century. Not a bad way to do it.

  • But they will have to contend with the market leader, U.S. Robotics

  • You mean like household robots, or robots that serve some family function...or...oh.

  • On the Fence (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DumbSwede ( 521261 ) <> on Monday November 03, 2014 @03:18PM (#48303393) Homepage Journal

    I’m on the fence about this one. It reminds me of Japan’s big fifth generation computer project in the 80’s – and which was widely considered a failure. China has had many great accomplishments this last two decades, they are a force to be reckoned with, but many of their gains have come through brute force methods of applying ample labor to problems, not true subtlety or production efficiencies.

    That said, the Chinese admire those who excel academically and are hungry for a prosperous modern future. I have actually been to China 5 times in the last eight years and the major cities are modern marvels to behold.

    But what has worked well in the past, the ruling party deciding spending priorities, may not work so well in the future. China’s bureaucrats are very controlling. They have worked hard the last twenty years to drag China into the modern world, enriching their citizens and themselves alike, but now that a substantial portion of the population is educated and middle class they have become more restless and demanding of accountability on the part of the government.

    This desire for control may also not work so well in an industry that needs the freedom to make mistakes and learn from them. You can command the building of streets and bridges and skyscrapers, commanding new discoveries be made and made in such a way that are not a threat to the state and can be controlled by the state – that may be another thing.

    • If they haven't stolen it already and then use their brute force and political power to chase other vendors out of their own market.

      • by DumbSwede ( 521261 ) <> on Monday November 03, 2014 @03:48PM (#48303665) Homepage Journal

        It may be comforting to think China merely stole everything to become manufacturing heavyweights – it may even be true to a degree, but going forward they are becoming increasingly self reliant. They will at some point surpass us in many areas, or perhaps already have. Did I mention the admiration of academic achievement within their culture? Do you think only us good ol’ Americans have a lock on creativity and knowledge? They aren’t just building infrastructure, they are building know-how. When the Communist party wants something done they are not sidetracked by petty partisan bickering. Yes I outlined some weaknesses of theirs, but that is not to say they might not overcome or evolve past them.

        We are the ones that need to start working towards the future harder. Get past the Common-Core complaints -- some are merited, some are not – and get on with it and apply what works in education. An educated workforce will be the only way for us to compete with them (or anyone else) in the future, and they have a 4-5x advantage numbers wise to cull the best from.

        • Do you think only us good ol Americans have a lock on creativity and knowledge?

          No, but that does tend to go along with a free society. Despite our problems, we have more freedom than they do in most respects. Central planning has some benefits but creativity isn't one of them.

          • Or... faith in America’s brand of freedom may be more a conceit or a faith based belief -- a flattering rationalization we tell ourselves to explain our post-WWII position in the world. I’m not say it isn’t true at all, or true to some degree, but to blindly believe freedom of expression or various other freedoms will forever keep America in the forefront on the world stage may be a bit naive.

            That said, day after day, all I see is Slashdot postings that seem to point to the erosion of th

            • Or... faith in America’s brand of freedom may be more a conceit or a faith based belief

              There are other historical examples, it's not just the United States. The more a society provides opportunity for the little guy the more innovation tends to occur. It's not just government institutions either, this happens in the private sector as well.

            • by miknix ( 1047580 )

              I would give you all my mod points if I had them.

          • According to Manuel De Landa: []
            "Indeed, one must resist the temptation to make hierarchies into villains and meshworks into heroes, not only because, as I said, they are constantly turning into one another, but because in real life we find only mixtures and hybrids, and the properties of these cannot be established through theory alone but demand concrete experimentation. Certain standardizations, say, of electric outlet designs or of data-structures traveling through the Int

        • I love how ignorant Americans admire the Chinese education system. Their system is cruel and forces children to study, study, study without any attempt at being well-rounded. There are few or no extra-curricular activities at Chinese schools. Just endless toil and make-work homework assignments.

          As for the "endless petty partisan bickering", that's called a "representative government". The Communist Party represents nobody but itself. It is very worrisome how today's modern, educated leftists openly a

          • I may admire the fact that education is admired by society at large in China. That said, yes their system can be very cruel and the children often have emotional issues because of it. Chinese parents here in America are often hell bent on forcing their children to study endlessly. And you know what, they do much better in school than average American children, and then go on to have better jobs. Here in Howard County Maryland there is about 20% Asian population. Howard County has the third highest aver

        • I just read an article in one of the magazines I subscribe to, I think Bloomberg, about wealthy Chinese parents sending their children to American high schools to learn entrepreneurship. Some of the most popular choices now have a majority of Chines students, defeating the American immersion purpose.
        • I am truly puzzled by people who talk about education solving these issues.

          There's almost no empirical evidence to support this.
          There's almost no thought experiment to support this.
          Yet, people keep claiming it.

          America has about 300 million people. There's more than enough 'educated' people to do any number of tasks.

          The truth is that you really don't need that many smart people to do amazing things; especially with computers. You only need a few really educated people.

          Just look at a company like Google. Goog

      • OK, let's look at the Market. You come home, it's clean. You look at your phone, you have a text message that said your parents are coming by. And your home is clean. Robo-Mop is in the closet charging up to do the same thing tomorrow. Is this a great country, or what?
    • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

      This of course has been proven time and time again in the development of military technology 'er', wait, what?

    • China is also rife with corruption to the point of core civil engineering bring of dubious standards. Another massive waste in spending is "ghost cities". And last but not least, the CCP is worried that the PLC may attempt some political shenanigans. They're giving each other the stink eye.

      I believe China is about to go through what Japan did in the 80s; and it will be ugly!

  • On existing robotics manufacturers.
    You can also expect to see the usual regard for intellectual property China is known for in it's courts.

    • Go ahead, let them do it. 20 billion robots on the job doing repetative actions. What could possibly go wrong?
  • Name's already taken - but I suspect the operating principal could be very similar . . .
  • Haven't you guys seen all the latest Chinese 3D printers? They already have a domestic robotics industry and it's self-replicating!

  • If manufacturing robots put almost a billion workers out of a job, the Chinese gov't is going to have a giant riot on their hands. The "Occupy Wall-street" movement in the US may have been indirectly the result of automation taking jobs (and offshoring).

    The government there may not have enough experience to deal with protests in a way that doesn't make them worse, as their relationship with Hong Kong has shown. And HK residents are economically well-off. People take even more risk if they have no existing

    • by gtall ( 79522 )

      What's animating China's zest for robotics is the realization that robots in other countries will put their millions out of jobs just as surely as them doing it to themselves. They just figure they would rather do it to themselves rather than have someone like the U.S. take it all away from them. Were that to happen, the fellows running the Party there can kiss their future take over of Taiwan goodbye. They just figure that if they can retake Taiwan, their toy government will finally have an air of legitima

  • The only question is, if they suceed, what are they going to do with all of those people they don't need any more? It's certainly not a question we're answering very gracefully here in the west. Maybe they'll do better in doing so than we are.

    But I doubt it.

  • Knowing China's appalling record on human rights they will probably cut corners and simply use existing human brains in an android body, inadvertently creating the cyberman army from Doctor Who.

  • First China comes out with a plan to boost their higher education & research, then their solar power industry, space program, and now robotics. Meanwhile, OUR government's plans seem to mainly consist of which country to invade next (which wouldn't be so bad if we actually got the cheap oil the voters were implicitly promised) while protecting and bailing out incompetent and/or obsolete industries.

Always leave room to add an explanation if it doesn't work out.