《TIME时代》中力搬马机器人:中国世界工厂+AI的未来
  来源:中力电动叉车  2021-08-19

*本文来自《时代杂志》、创新工场

原文来源:https://time.com/6084158/china-ai-factory-future/ 

 

前言

李开复在《时代杂志》的专栏中描述了“中国世界工厂+AI”的未来,其中提到中力的无人驾驶智能仓储物流解决方案是“产品+AI”的新理念,颠覆了传统自动搬运设备对现场环境要求高、投入成本大、方案升级成本高的现状。
 
中力将搬运分为有效搬运(需现场判断、需次次人为来决策)、无效搬运(点到点、位到位、区到区搬运),搬马机器人专注于解决无效搬运,让自动搬运的投入成本更低、操作更简单、随时可以增加设备,真正实现让搬运机器人走入千企万厂。

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中国世界工厂 + AI 的未来" 

 

多年来,中国一直被喻为“世界工厂”,即便在全球其他经济体纷纷遭遇新冠疫情重击的2020年,中国制造产业仍然维持稳健的增长范式,全年产值高达3.854万亿美元,占到全球市场近三分之一。

 

但如果你脑中的中国工厂是“血汗工厂”,现在是时候修正你的刻板印象了。中国经济已经迅速地从疫情冲击下复苏,疫情同时催化了各种各样人工智能(AI)的应用场景加速实现。自2014年以来,中国的AI专利申请量已经超越美国,至今维持全球领先。在学术领域,中国的AI研究论文发表数量、AI期刊的引用量,也双双在近年超过了美国。在产业方面,AI应用在国内的落地速度超越世界其他国家和地区,具有商业价值的AI应用如今开始百花齐放,整合了软件、硬件和机器人技术的新一代自动化揭开序曲,AI赋能传统行业的能量,正在蓄势待发地重塑各行各业。

 

人类社会至今经历了三次不同的工业革命:蒸汽革命、电力革命和信息革命。我相信,AI将会是推动全球第四次工业革命的核心引擎,在世界各地点燃数字化和自动化的变革,而这波前所未有的硬科技浪潮,将由中国来引领实践。

 

由于劳动人口减少和新增人口放缓,中国的传统产业正面临着劳动力成本上升的巨大压力,AI正是解决这个难题的技术解答。人工智能不仅能够降低运营成本,提高生产效率,扩大整体产能,还有望能带来收入的增长。

 

我们看到几家成熟的领军企业也开始积极拥抱AI。创新工场参与了有28年历史的中力电动叉车,这家头部的锂电叉车制造商已经推出了能够在工厂、仓库自主运行的无人叉车,并且无需对运行环境进行改造,能快速实现从手动到电动到自动驾驶的搬运赋能创新

 

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▲:2021年,中力搬马机器人XP1在DC进行点到点货物搬运。

 

 

接着会发生什么?我大胆预见,在更长远的未来,机器人和AI将接管大多数产品的制造、设计、交付甚至营销——很可能将生产成本降低到和原物料成本相差无几。未来的机器人有能力自我复制和自我修复,甚至做到部分自我迭代设计。房屋和公寓将交由AI主导设计,使用预制建筑模块,交由机器人像搭积木似地筑楼盖房。无人公交、无人摩托等随传随到的自动化未来交通系统,能将我们安全无虞地送达想去的地方。

 

这些愿景成为现实或许还需要多年,但此时的中国正在积极铺垫引领新一代自动化革命的基石。可期的是,中国工厂的实力将不仅仅体现在产能上,而将逐步彰显在智能上。

 

中力全系列搬马机器人

有效搬运人来做,无效搬运搬马做

 

浙江中力机械股份有限公司(EP EQUIPMENT)专业从事电动仓储设备及叉车开发、制造、服务的全球性企业,以“解放人类劳动力”为使命,正全力朝机器人搬运的方向大步前进,努力实现绿色搬运、智能搬运和数字搬运。

 

中力一直在探索搬运前沿技术,想通过先进的技术手段帮助企业以最简单的方式提升搬运效率。中力搬马机器人是中力潜心多年研发,与世界众多一流大学共同开发,是基于激光与视觉SLAM、视觉货物识别、视觉人形识别、分布式规划及手自一体和极简UI 等业界前沿技术,并结合中力沉心多年电动物料搬运设备积累的技术、质量、成本、市场、服务优势而研发的。

 

中力搬马机器人在行业首创真正实现去中心化,降低了应用门槛和资金投入,是一款随购随用、随时扩容、简单方便、高性价比的自动化、智能化车辆,因此无论是搬运情况复杂,要求多机协作配合的大型物流场地,还是仅需替代人工完成简单的距离运输,中力搬马机器人都可以提供更适配的解决方案,且无需对环境进行大改造,降低改造成本,可快速投入使用,满足客户的实际需求。

 

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同时,在今年6月中力新品发布会上,中力又重磅发布了物流专款机器人、牵引机器人、堆高机器人等多款智能机器人,可满足更多搬运需求。

 

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China Is Still the World's Factory—And It's Designing the Future With AI

 

For many years now, China has been the world’s factory. Even in 2020,as other economies struggled with the effects of the pandemic, China’s manufacturing output was $3.854 trillion, up from the previous year,accounting for nearly a third of the global market.

 

But if you are still thinking of China’s factories as sweatshops, it’s probably time to change your perception. The Chinese economic recovery from its short-lived pandemic blip has been boosted by its world-beating adoption of artificial intelligence (AI). After overtaking the U.S. in 2014, China now has a significant lead over the rest of the world in AI patent applications. In academia, China recently surpassed the U.S. in the number of both AI research publications and journal citations. Commercial applications are flourishing: a new wave of automation and AI infusion is crashing across a swath of sectors, combining software, hardware and robotics.

 

As a society, we have experienced three distinct industrial revolutions: steam power, electricity and information technology. I believe AI is the engine fueling the fourth industrial revolution globally, digitizing and automating everywhere. China is at the forefront in manifesting this

unprecedented change.

 

Chinese traditional industries are confronting rising labor costs thanks to a declining working population and slowing population growth. The answer is AI, which reduces operational costs, enhances efficiency and productivity-, and generates revenue growth.

 

For example, Guangzhou-based agricultural-technology company XAG, a Sinovation Ventures portfolio company, is sending drones, robots and sensors to rice, wheat and cotton fields, automating seeding, pesticide spraying, crop development and weather monitoring. XAG’s R150 autonomous vehicle, which sprays crops, has recently been deployed in the U. K. to be used on apples, strawberries and blackberries.

 

Some companies are rolling out robots in new and unexpected sectors. MegaRobo, a Beijing-based life-science automation company also backed by Sinovation Ventures, designs AI and robots to safely perform repetitive and precise laboratory work in universities, pharmaceutical companies and more, reducing to zero the infection risk to lab workers.

 

It’s not just startups; established market leaders are also leaning into AI. EP Equipment, a manufacturer of lithium-powered warehouse forklifts founded in Hangzhou 28 years ago, has with Sinovation Ventures’ backing launched autonomous models that are able to maneuver themselves in factories and on warehouse floors. Additionally Yutong Group, a leading bus manufacturer with over 50 years’ history, already has a driverless Mini Robobus on the streets of three cities in partnership with autonomous vehicle unicorn WeRide.

 

Where is all this headed? I can foresee a time when robots and AI will take over the manufacturing, design, delivery and even marketing of most goods—potentially reducing costs to a small increment over the cost of materials. Robots will become self-replicating, self-repairing and even partially self-designing. Houses and apartment buildings will be designed by AI and use prefabricated modules that robots put together like toy blocks. And just-in-time autonomous public transportation, from robo buses to robo-scooters, will take us anywhere we want to go.

 

It will be years before these visions of the future enter the mainstream. But China is laying the groundwork right now, setting itself up to be a leader not only in how much it manufactures, but also in how intelligently it does it.

 


【编辑:chuyun】

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