If you have seen the Steven Spielberg science fiction film A.I. Artificial Intelligence, you will be intrigued by the film’s vision of robots with both great intelligence and humanoid emotion. Apparently, Chinese AI robotics company Turing Robot has turned part of the film’s fiction into reality.
Turing Robot was founded in Beijing in 2010. It provides services including AI-based technologies and robot operating systems to domestic and overseas robot companies. It has used its AI capabilities to launch its own robots in China.
The company held an innovation conference in Beijing on Thursday. It released around a dozen robot software programs – what we might call “robot applications”, or “robot apps” – and upgraded its robot operating system, Turing OS.
“Turing Robot’s open platform has attracted over 230,000 developers,” said Yu Zhichen, founder and CEO of Turing Robot, at the conference.
The new robot applications have been launched in areas related to chatting, music playing, photography, and English teaching. These apps, along with others the company has launched previously, can be downloaded and installed for free into any robot based on the Turing OS.
The company launched its self-developed Turing OS 1.0 for robots in 2015. It released an upgraded Turing OS 1.5 at the conference, enhancing the system’s visual performance, motion control and hardware modules.
According to the company, it has over 10 years of experience in Natural Language Processing (NLP). Its Turing OS has largely improved robot producers’ development efficiency and the intelligence level of service robots. It has also shown its judgment and perspective on the robotics industry with its creation of the Wormhole app in 2009, the Turing Robot in 2014, and Turing OS in 2015.
Yu said that they have raised over RMB 10 million (USD 1.5 million) in crowdfunding for one of their robots, the highest amount for a single robot in China. The company will launch more robots in the second half of 2016.
Although some of the company’s current robots can interact with humans, and even with other robots, Yu said it was still a long way to go before robots become as intelligent as humans.
“Robots based on AI will be more and more like humans, and even better than us in some areas. But they will always be ‘for humankind’ – something which is also Turing Robot’s motto,” said Yu.
Other prominent robot companies that make AI in China include Horizon Robotics and UBTech. Horizon Robotics provides smart homes and autonomous cars with their technological services based on deep learning and AI. UBTech, like Turing Robot, has also earned a reputation for making humanoid robots.
Photos courtesy of Turing Robot.