China aspires to build a robotics industry that will claim 45 percent of the global market by 2020, the government-controlled Xinhua News Agency reports.
China already buys more industrial robots than any other nation, having purchased 36,560 units in 2013. However, only 9,000 of those robots were built in China. The country hopes that government support and investments will help to turn China into the world’s biggest producer, as well as buyer, of robots, reports Computerworld’s Beijing correspondent, Michael Kan.
In order to get the ball rolling, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology will draft a “robotics technology roadmap.” Currently, industrial robots in China predominantly assist in automotives, but the roadmap would have them eventually assisting in construction, food production, and several other industries.
The International Federation of Robotics notes that while the United States and Japan currently possess more industrial robots than China, the latter should surpass every other country by 2017, with a projected 427,900 units.
Photo of automotive robots at work (not in China) by Spencer Cooper