From robot dogs to smart wheelchairs: China’s exhibits at Hannover Messe 2024

01:29

China is hoping to get tongues wagging at Germany’s largest industrial tech fair. 

More than 1,000 Chinese exhibitors are showcasing their products at Hannover Messe 2024. There is plenty on offer, but the Chinese-built ‘GO2’ robot dog is generating lots of buzz. It can learn commands using artificial intelligence. It’s also quite athletic – not even ‘pawsing’ to stop in the face of some tough challenges. 

“The robot dog runs up the stairs but doesn’t lose his balance,” says Danny Ehlerding from Quadruped Robotics. “Many robots can’t do this. This one has an inertial measurement unit, or IMU, that allows it to get back its balance.”

Quadruped Robotics’ Chinese-developed technology helps robot dogs to maintain balance./CGTN

Quadruped Robotics’ Chinese-developed technology helps robot dogs to maintain balance./CGTN

Robot designers at the event say there’s a push to create models that need very little supervision. China’s FD Robot showed off its latest design, saying it’s one of its most nimble creations. “This robot has a high degree of freedom,” says CEO Tianlian Hu. “It can move freely and do many different and difficult movements.”

Visitors also got a peek at a wheelchair that ‘thinks’ for itself.  Chinese firm XSTO built the M4 model on display at Hannover Messe this year. The chair instinctively adjusts the seating angle when it moves over surfaces with different gradients. 

Chinese firm FD Robot says its latest model is able to perform a range of complicated movements./CGTN

Chinese firm FD Robot says its latest model is able to perform a range of complicated movements./CGTN

Meanwhile, a gear manufacturing firm unveiled a product that could make it easier to handle industrial equipment. Wenling Minghua Gear says its ‘intelligent hoist’ provides pinpoint accuracy. “This design has a more accurate position compared to the traditional ones,” explains sales manager Yan Yu. “This hoist allows you to stop exactly where you need.”

CGTN’s Johannes Pleschberger investigates the ‘intelligent hoist’ produced by Wenling Minghua Gear. /CGTN

CGTN’s Johannes Pleschberger investigates the ‘intelligent hoist’ produced by Wenling Minghua Gear. /CGTN

Chinese firms made up a quarter of the 4,000 exhibitors at this year’s show – the highest number of any country except the host. German chancellor Olaf Scholz opened the fair last weekend, just days after meeting with President Xi Jinping during an official visit to China.

All the activity at Hannover Messe suggests Chinese companies are keen to show what they can do with new technology. The saying goes that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But as for robot dogs… well, that’s another matter altogether. 

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