From the creepy to the downright bizarre, the world’s most ingenuous robotic creations are on display at the eighth World Robot Conference in China this week.
The annual event, a platform for promoting business in the robotics sector, is taking place at Beijing’s Etrong International Exhibition and Convention Center.
Among the machines on show are realistic humanoids with synthetic skin, four legged ‘dogs’ and hospitality robots serving customers food and drink.
Meanwhile, agile robotic arms with multiple joints for use in factories show off their abilities amid local concerns of machines taking over human’s jobs.
Among the Chinese public there’s been a growing sense of unease about the reliance of technology for public-facing roles that used to be taken by humans.
Like a scene from a dystopian future, humanoid robots developed by EXRobots appear at the Beijing World Robot Conference
Eerily-realistic human looking robots perform movements during the World Robot Conference
The World Robot Conference kicked off on Wednesday, August 16 and will run until Tuesday, August 22.
One of the biggest draws of the event so far has been the animatronic heads and humanoid robots on display at the EX Robots booth.
They personify the image of what robots are supposed to be in the popular imagination, with synthetic skin and lifelike facial expressions complimented by moving arms and hands.
CEO Li Boyang said they’re ideal for roles that require interacting with the public, such as in museums, tourist attractions, school settings and ‘companion scenarios’.
In another part of the conference hall, a single-port surgical robot developed by a company called Shurui is performing intricate tasks, such as peeling a quail egg, to show off its high precision.
Single-port surgery is a procedure performed through one incision, already used in hospitals worldwide for various procedures including kidney surgeries and cystectomies.
Robotic surgery is gradually becoming more and more dexterous, giving minimally invasive robot procedures a greater chance of success in the medical world.
Elsewhere at the show, a ‘French artist’ robot wearing a beret and a moustache is drawing sketches for the surrounding crowd.
Doggie droids – a mainstay of high tech fairs – are also out in force, including the B1 from Unitree Robotics, a company which based in Hangzhou in China.
Synthetic skin and lifelike facial expressions from machines created by EX Robots are capable of moving arms and hands
The yearly event, although eccentric, offers a platform for promoting exchanges and collaborations in the robotics sector
Winking, grimacing or nodding their heads, robots mimicked the expressions of visitors at the robot expo in Beijing
Like an unfortunate victim trapped in the wall, a robot mimics human facial expressions as spectators look on
A human looking robot gestures during the World Robot Conference in Beijing, China on Friday. The yearly event is a platform for promoting exchanges and collaborations in the robotics sector
Magnifique! A robot wearing a beret draws a portrait during the conference as attendees film on their smartphones
Unitree recently revealed a robot dog model called Go2, which can do a handstand and rush to greet its owner just like a real pooch.
At the conference, canine robots from multiple manufacturers shake hands with fairgoers and perform handstands on their front paws.
Another robotic creation is pictured dunking a basketball with a friend in a miniature court at the convention centre.
Robots that can play sports are fast becoming a popular industry – and have even spawned their own global championship tournaments.
Visitors look at a single-port surgical robot developed by Shurui peeling a quail egg with precision
Good boy! A kid pats a robot dog by Unitree at the conference, which has been held now for eight consecutive years
Quadruped robots on display. The theme of this year’s World Robotics Conference is ‘Open Innovation, Sharing the Future’
A robot developed by Data Robotics displays dunking the basketball at the Beijing World Robot Conference
Also making an appearance is CyberOne, a $104,000 humanoid developed by Xiaomi that walks just like a person.
CyberOne is fitted with an AI interaction algorithm that allows it to perceive 3D space, as well as recognise individuals, gestures, and expressions.
According to Xiaomi, the bot can recognise 85 different environmental sounds and 45 human emotions.
Other machines on show have been designed for the hospitality industry, to replace human staff and potentially save establishments money.
On Thursday, children were pictured crowding around one robot serving up scoops of ice cream, while another served up small cups of Chinese tea to adults.
Elsewhere at the fair, robotic arms pick apples off of vines, while others bounce ping pong balls and give visitors back massages.
Also making an appearance is CyberOne, a humanoid developed by Xiaomi that walks just like a person
Visitors watch a robot dog Cyberdog developed by Xiaomi, a company mostly known for its smartphones
Children gather to watch a robotic arm perform ice cream serving during the annual World Robot Conference
Visitors look at a robotic arm performs a Chinese tea serving during the hotly-anticipated annual event
Developing robotic joints that have the same capabilities as that of a human has long been a challenge for the industry
A worker stands next to apples harvesting robot displayed at the annual World Robot Conference held at the Beijing Etrong International Exhibition and Convention Center
Robot wars! Machines fight it out at the World Robotics Conference in Beijing – although it’s unclear if these were created by amateur develops especially for the event
China is an obvious setting for one of the world’s biggest robotics fairs, not only due to its high level of technological innovation.
One of Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s goals is to move the country´s vast manufacturing sector away from low-cost creation of cheap goods into more high-tech production, and industrial robots will be an important element of that plan.
According to a 2016 report, more and more factories in China are using robots on the assembly lines to replace workers who demand high salaries.
China’s leading AI expert Kai-Fu Lee has previously predicted that technology will take over half of all jobs by the mid-2030s.
Certain employment sectors are facing a crisis ‘akin to that faced by farmers during the industrial revolution’, he said.
A friendly robot receptionist with a screen showing Chinese President Xi Jinping is displayed
An orange and blue harvesting robot called Agribot demonstrates pulling fruit off of vines at the show
For human fruit pickers, the sight of machines that can do their job will be a worrying sight
Just a bit higher please!: An exhibitor watches a visitor receiving a massage by a robotic arm
A panda shaped robot demonstrates its ability to grab open a cabinet and grab a can of soda from within
A woman poses in front of a six armed robot, which could be used as an extension of a human’s body
Industrial robots will be an important part of China’s plan to move into more high-tech production
Gordon Rams-AI! Scientists develop a robot CHEF that can recreate recipes by watching cooking videos
Gordon Ramsay better watch his back as there’s a new top chef in town – in the form of a robot.
The robo-chef can learn how to create the perfect dish, simply from watching cooking videos.
Researchers at the University of Cambridge have programmed a machine to make a meal by following how a human makes it.
Researchers at the University of Cambridge have programmed a machine to make a meal by following how a human makes it
Using sophisticated AI, the robot is able to work out from every frame which objects it is looking at – such as a vegetable, hand, or knife – and how it is being used.
Over time, it is then able to identify which ingredients work best together – and even point out when the human chef may have used the wrong amount.