Robots dazzle onlookers at the 2016 World Economic Forum in Tianjin

Artificial intelligence in robots is in the spotlight at the 2016 Summer Davos held in Tianjin, themed as “the Fourth Industrial Revolution and its Transformational Impact”. Cutting edge robotics technologies from around the world are being exhibited at the Tianjin Meijiang Convention and Exhibition Center. Here are some of them:


Jiajia at the 2016 Summer Davos (photo from Baidu Images)
Jiajia at the 2016 Summer Davos (photo from Baidu Images)

Created by the University of Science and Technology in China after three years’ research and development, Jiajia is a humanoid robot that is specialized in the area of human-machine interaction. Jiajia has natural eye movements and synchronized lips when speaking. With the appearance and body height of a Chinese woman, Jiajia wears a traditional Chinese dress. Talking with her, she might compliment you by saying “You’re pretty” or “You look like you’re 18”. The researchers said at her debut this April that due to the limitation of materials, the robot is not yet able to make big facial expressions.

Jiajia is programmed to handle human-machine interactions and offer services based on cloud technology.


ChihiraAico at the 2016 Summer Davos (photo from Baidu Images)
ChihiraAico at the 2016 Summer Davos (photo from Baidu Images)

An astonishingly human-like robot, ChihiraAico first met the public at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2015, and is now visiting the Summer Davos. She moves with 43 pneumatic actuators embedded in her shoulders, arms, hands, and face, making her capable of natural movements and expressions of joy, irritation, and sadness. ChihiraAico is expected to take a role in the service industry by taking care of people with dementia, and has the potential to act as a multilingual receptionist, a counselor, or an entertainer, among other roles. ChihiraAico is made by Toshiba.


YuMi (photo from
Collaborative dual-arm robot YuMi (photo from

This is a prominent dual-arm robot in the world, capable of collaborating with humans in industrial tasks. It is designed by the Swedish-Swiss engineering company ABB. Although not in the shape of a human, YuMi can be taught to complete tasks by using its two arms, the automatic operation of which can be so precise and fast that it can return to the same point within 0.02mm of accuracy at a velocity of 1,500mm per second. This amazingly collaborative robot can be applied to any small part of an assembly environment.


PiBot (photo from
PiBot (photo from

PiBot is a robot that drives an airplane. It was developed by the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in 2014. This pint-sized robot can identify and operate all the buttons and switches in a cockpit designed for humans.

Market research company IDC predicts that worldwide spending on robotics will reach USD 135 billion in 2019. According to the China Robot Industry Alliance, China has already been the world’s largest industrial robot market for the past two years, and is enjoying an annual growth rate of over 50% in the robot industry.

(Top photo from Baidu Images)

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