Scroll: Service robots should not be ‘moving iPads’

By Shi Jiayi
1 min read

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The year 2018 may seem a little late to join the robotics market. However, Alex Wu, co-founder and CEO of Tiger Technology, believes it could help him better understand what the sector really needs.

“The service robot market is highly competitive and there aren’t any major players that are operating in the sector,” Wu said. “Entering this market late is not a disadvantage to us; it helps us understand what kind of application scenarios are doable.”

Wu described current service robots as “moving iPads,” a computer with a mobile chassis. He believes a robot should not only be able to feel and communicate but should also perform tasks like a human.

“Service robots on the market now are more like computers which sit on autonomous guided vehicles (AGVs),” Wu said. AGVs are found in warehouses and typically follow lines or markers on the floor in order to navigate. “When I see that I don’t think it can be called a robot,” he said.

iKudo is Tiger Technology’s two-wheel collaborative robot and is equipped with a flexible robotic arm. It can provide multiple services for consumers. Wu said the robot could be responsible for the last 100 meters of door-to-door deliveries in large communities. The company is also planning to target in-home elderly care in the future.

Wu told TechNode that the robotic arm on iKudo doesn’t need to be as accurate as its industrial cousins. By reducing the accuracy, Tiger Technology can cut the cost of the arms and increase the amount of goods they can carry. Moreover, the company is focused on how to make the arm safer for consumers’ everyday use.

“The main feature of our robotic arm is safety,” Wu said. When pressure from iKudo’s arm exceeds a safe level it is programmed to stop immediately, he claims.

In the future, Wu hopes to build a cloud system for all service robots that will help them collaborate. He said with the help of 5G, service robots would be able to do more advanced calculations and help people in a wider range of scenarios.