(Yicai Global) Jan. 11 -- Families will soon be able to enjoy the services of robot butlers at home, including the latest version of UBTech Robotics' Walker humanoid bot, according to the Chinese company's technology boss.
Walker caters to families, Chief Technology Officer Xiong Youjun told Yicai Global in an exclusive interview at the 2019 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where the Shenzhen-based company debuted the upgraded version.
At 1.45 meters in height and weighing 77 kilograms, the new model is an interactive robot that can perform a butler's duties including opening doors, serving drinks, and assisting with sending emails. It can even play soccer, since the humanoid robot can move with ease in challenging environments, as UBTech demonstrated at the expo.
Walker is at the stage of technological verification rather than mass production, Xiong said, without disclosing its price. Interactive robots such as Boston Dynamics's Atlas, Honda Motor's Asimo and others, are far from commercial use, as their prices can easily reach millions of US dollars, he added.
Robots are still in the era of "weak artificial intelligence" with many limitations, Xiong said, adding that more breakthroughs are needed in terms of voice, vision and other tech areas. But the southern Chinese tech hub of Shenzhen is a good starting point for it to grow though, with its ample industrial chains, he added.
The company has made robots for education, entertainment, and security patrol with names such as Star Wars, Lynx and Alpha. The firm has already reached its initial profit target, according to Xiong.
Editor: Emmi Laine