It’s not going to ask for a raise. Image from Possessed Photography.
Two startups working to make factory workers obsolete are Mech-Mind Robotics and Hai Robotics. They recently announced funding rounds totaling $155 million and $200 million, respectively.
Unmanned car-washing stations are another application. One company in the industry, YGL, recently became a unicorn (a billion-plus-dollar valuation).
Another industrial up-and-comer is Youibot, which works in semiconductor facilities.
From the factory to the customer’s door
After packages are assembled by factory robots, Meituan, JD.com, and Alibaba want courier robots to deliver them. Alibaba’s Xiaomanlv (“little donkey”) robots delivered 1 million packages in the past year, and its builders want to do a million a day by 2024.
The average cost of a robot ($61,862) is still six times more expensive than the average human courier’s salary, but it’s falling every year thanks to cheaper parts.
Matthew Silberman is Contributor, SupChina A.M. and Manager, Business and Technology Research at SupChina. Previously, he studied Chinese as a Blakemore Freeman fellow at the International Chinese Language Program in Taiwan. He has also been a speechwriter at the Wilson Center in Washington, D.C., a researcher for Evan Osnos, and an editor at the Korea JoongAng Daily in Seoul, South Korea. Read more