The 2015 World Robot Conference in Beijing

Screen Shot 2015-07-28 at 10.42.35 AMThe World Robot Conference will be held in Beijing this year from Nov. 23 to 25, focusing on the building of an intelligent society and collaborative innovation. The number of industrial robots sold in China reached 57,000 last year, which marked an increase of 55 percent on a year-on-year basis and one-quarter of global sales.

The government is drafting a plan to boost China’s robot research, development and application in key manufacturing fields, and to improve the country’s inadequate capacity to produce high-end robots independently.

Screen Shot 2015-07-28 at 10.42.50 AMThe event will comprise a forum, an exhibition and an international robot competition for teenagers. More than 40,000 participants are expected.Speakers from China, Germany, the United States and Japan will deliver reports on such topics as robot research and technology development. An exhibit will be held featuring the latest products, while research findings will also be showcased during the three-day event. There are 130 teams aged 8-15 from around the world attending the World Adolescent Robot Contest (WARC 2015), where children will compete using Lego robots with each other.

Screen Shot 2015-07-28 at 10.42.43 AMI believe that robots will be the next revolution in technology just like PCs, cell phones or tablets. The robots will be part of our daily life, and one day, we wouldn’t be able to imagine our life without one. Robots become so simple that even children are able to build them for international competitions. The next revolution consists of robots, and is already in front of the door or has already entered without us noticing… maybe later on we can tell our grandchildren that we discovered the new Steve or Stephanie Jobs at the conference.

contact warc@czinkota.de

Sarah Czinkota, a 12-year-old student at the Bischof-Neumann-Schule in Königstein/Taunus, is a member of robot team “plasma”, which represents Germany in the junior age group at WARC 2015 in Beijing.

 

The International Marketplace: Product Innovation May Come Mainly From China

           Since the 2007-2008 global recession, confidence in the American model of economic development has decreased significantly. Economists are eager to draw conclusions from China’s continued economic growth even though the economic slowdown that has affected much of the developed world. Many assert that Chinese economic policy is more stable because of the government’s large role. However, it may also be the demand of Chinese consumers which shapes innovation and supply.

            The American toilet company Kohler has just released the state-of-the-art Numi toilet. This toilet, designed and marketed primarily for the US and China, has many features included especially for the Chinese market. The toilet’s feet warming system is a solution to infamously cold Chinese bathrooms. Other Chinese market features include the Numi’s music system, Skype capabilities, and a bidet. This toilet suggests that even an American company must keep the Chinese populace in mind when developing products. In an editorial in the Financial Times, Christopher Caldwell concluded that the Numi toilet suggests more than just an increase in Chinese-centered goods. He claims that this toilet “is a sign that this era of US advantage is spiraling towards its close.” 

            Caldwell is not alone in his belief that Beijing will soon begin its reign of prominence. The Numi is not the only special global product marketed for China. In 2005 GM’s luxury sedan the Buick LaCrosse was redesigned especially for the Chinese market. Joe Qiu, designer of the Chinese version of the LaCrosse, told Fara Warner of Fast Company how he created a car that would sell well in the Chinese market. The interior of the car is meant to recreate the soft, luxurious environment of Chinese nightclubs and upscale Shanghai homes. The car’s exterior is sleek and trendy, targeting the chicest Chinese clientele. Since then, sales of the LaCrosse in China have outperformed those in the U.S. In 2010, GM released the updated version of the Buick LaCrosse globally. Much to US GM’s chagrin, the car’s interior was designed by Qiu. The US team was took point on the car’s interior, but had to take into account the input and edits from the Chinese design team. This move displayed how Chinese preferences trumped American ones. As a result, China gained more clout within the powerful American company GM. 

            With the second largest economy in the world and an envy-inducing continued growth, China is beginning to rival the United States’ position as the world’s economic leader. Whether the 21st century will become the age of China will be determined over time. Right now, Chinese preferences are beginning to share the lead in the development of new global products. 

Professor Michael R. Czinkota and Sophia Berhie

Sources: Caldwell, Christopher. “Telling Lessons for the Future from China’s Bathrooms.” Editorial, Financial Times (London), June 4, 2011; Waldmeir, Patti. “The Numi Toilet: Chinese Design for a Global Market.” Globe and Mail (Toronto), May 30, 2011. Accessed June 7, 2011. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/​report-on-business/​international-news/​ asian-pacific/​the-numi-toilet-chinese-design-for-a-global-market/​ article2040064/​; Warner, Fara. “Made in China.” Fast Company, April 1, 2007. Accessed June 7, 2011. http://www.fastcompany.com/​magazine/​114/​open_features-made-in-china.html.