On the rich chessboard of technological innovation, humanoid robots are emerging pieces, stepping out of science fiction and gradually entering our factories, communities, and even homes. This document is not only a blueprint for innovative development but also a clarion call, declaring that humanoid robots are preparing to take the helm of the future.
Reflecting on the birth of computers, initially mere data processing machines, they evolved into office assistants and have now completely changed the way we work, becoming an integral part of modern work and life. The advent of smartphones, initially perceived as a new way to communicate with friends and family, has transformed into a handheld information center, an indispensable part of our lives managing our social interactions, entertainment, shopping, and even banking. Similarly, electric vehicles, initially seen as a small supplement to traditional fuel cars, are now leading the global automotive industry revolution and the green transportation movement.
Humanoid robots are placed in an equally important position as computers, smartphones, and electric vehicles, referred to as “disruptive products.” These products share some common characteristics:
Firstly, for households and individuals, if humanoid robots can achieve the same significance as computers, smartphones, and electric vehicles, they are destined to become standard configurations for households and even individual lives, intricately woven into our daily routines. Just as computers and smartphones have become indispensable parts of our daily lives, humanoid robots will evolve into widely used terminal consumer products.
Secondly, in the business realm, the development of computers, smartphones, and electric vehicles has given rise to industry-leading companies, shaping business giants for each era. Similarly, the humanoid robot industry is about to witness the rise of its own leading enterprises. Though their numbers may be few, these leading companies are expected to exert immense global influence.
Furthermore, akin to computers, smartphones, and electric vehicles, humanoid robots herald a new era of cross-industry integration. Disruptive products not only function within their original domains but also promote integration and innovation across different industries. For instance, computers and smartphones facilitated the integration of information technology with traditional industries, and electric vehicles drove the combination of the automotive industry with environmental and energy sectors. Similarly, humanoid robots will become a convergence point for various advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, sensor technology, and communication technology. Humanoid robots have the potential to integrate multiple fields, including mechanical engineering, artificial intelligence, biotechnology, healthcare, enhancing technological capabilities across industries and potentially giving rise to entirely new industries and service models.
When discussing the topic of “humanoid robots profoundly transforming human production and lifestyle, reshaping the global industrial development landscape” with a friend, he suggested reflecting on the changes brought about by the Industrial Revolution. In the Industrial Revolution, mechanization in agriculture led farmers to transition into workers, creating a demand for managers. The prosperity of management then drove specialization in production, marketing, finance, human resources, and other fields. Industrial development further expanded into the business sector, and business growth fostered the media industry. Simultaneously, the flourishing of industry and business increased the demand for researchers and the service industry.
Although the development path of humanoid robots may differ from the Industrial Revolution, the essence of the prosperity they bring is similar.
Firstly, the rise of humanoid robots will promote a significant expansion of basic industries, especially in AI-related fields such as GPUs, CPUs, and cloud services. This is similar to the advent of electric power technology, not only a new form of energy but also a crucial driving force for societal and technological development.
Secondly, we will witness the emergence of hundreds and thousands of different types of robots, each opening up new application areas and industries, giving rise to a vast new industrial ecosystem. Just as electricity facilitated the birth of light bulbs, telephones, and other electrical appliances. With the popularization of artificial intelligence, programmable and customizable robots will become the “computers” of the new era. These highly flexible, customizable robots will significantly enhance production efficiency, drive economic growth, and change our way of life. Ultimately, the technological and economic transformation led by humanoid robots will bring about tremendous economic prosperity. This prosperity will not be limited to traditional industrial and business sectors but will extend to cultural, artistic, and creative industries, fostering comprehensive development and advancement throughout society.
To accelerate the realization of humanoid robot development goals, technological breakthroughs are undoubtedly the core. Led by advanced AI technologies like large models, we need breakthroughs in key technologies and innovative systems such as the “brain,” “cerebellum,” and “limbs” of humanoid robots.
The “brain” of humanoid robots, relying on large model technology, will greatly enhance the robots’ environmental perception, behavior control, and human-machine interaction capabilities. Imagine if we could achieve a groundbreaking breakthrough in humanoid robot technology, such as developing a “brain” capable of mimicking complex human emotions and cognition—how would this reshape our social structure and daily lives?
Let’s delve into this discussion with a specific case: some elderly care centers in Japan have already started using humanoid robots. These robots can engage in basic communication with the elderly, even participating in entertainment and social activities. This not only relieves caregivers’ burdens but also brings vitality and joy to the daily lives of the elderly. Now, if we could further develop more advanced humanoid robots that not only provide physical assistance but also engage in emotional communication, how would this change our overall perception of elderly care?
Similarly, the education sector can benefit from the development of humanoid robots. In remote areas with a shortage of teachers, humanoid robots can serve as an effective educational resource. Through remote control and programming, these robots can provide education at the same level as urban areas, ensuring that all children receive high-quality education. This is not only a technological breakthrough but also a social progress.
The development of humanoid robots requires not only a “thinking” “brain” but also a highly developed “cerebellum” to control their movements. By establishing efficient motion control algorithm libraries and network control system architectures, robot movements will become more precise and flexible. Additionally, breakthroughs in “limb” technology, such as key technologies for “robotic limbs,” humanoid mechanical arms, and the development of dexterous hands and legs, will significantly enhance robots’ operating capabilities in various environments.
In this revolution of humanoid robot technology, we need not only the courage of technological innovators but also the wisdom and foresight of policymakers. What we need is not just a single technological breakthrough but a comprehensive, diverse ecosystem. We need to establish an open-source innovation environment where experts from different fields can share knowledge and collaborate; we need to nurture companies that will commercialize these technologies, ensuring that these robots move beyond the laboratory and truly enter our daily lives.
Historical experience tells us that the success of Silicon Valley is largely due to government support for technological innovation and entrepreneurial spirit. Such an ecosystem is equally crucial for the humanoid robot industry. Governments can support enterprise research and development by establishing dedicated humanoid robot innovation zones while encouraging the participation of universities and research institutions. In this kind of ecosystem, we can expect the emergence of a new generation of tech giants, similar to the achievements of Apple and Google in the smartphone and internet fields, propelling humanoid robot technology to higher levels of development.
Through these comprehensive measures, we can build an entirely new industrial ecosystem. This ecosystem will not only drive technological development and product innovation but will also stimulate market demand, ultimately forming a prosperous and sustainable humanoid robot industry. In this industry, each link is closely connected, and every technological breakthrough can quickly transform into practical applications. The success of each application will further drive technological development, creating a virtuous cycle.
On some future day, when we look back at the decisions and efforts made now, we will clearly recognize that it is these humanoid robots that have completely changed our work methods, lifestyles, and social structures, leading us into a brand-new era. This era introduces a new role—those humanoid robots walking beside us, working in collaboration, and possibly surpassing the expectations we have for them.