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AI robot maker from Silicon Valley to bring Chinese families 'true smart' products

By Chen Yingqun | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2018-11-08 16:47

Trifo, an Artificial Intelligence (AI) robot maker from the Silicon Valley, is committed to bring Chinese families true smart home robots, as it announced on Thursday receiving $11 million in funding to build cutting-edge products.

Trifo, which has teams in Shenzhen and Beijing, is committed to explore China's household appliances market, which has seen fast growth in recent years.

Despite rising trade tensions between Washington and Beijing, Trifo remains upbeat about China, especially at the inaugural China International Import Expo, where the country has declared its commitment to further open the domestic markets to high-tech products from all over the world.

"Chinese customers, compared to others, tend more to accept new technologies and electronics brands," Zhang Zhe, CEO and founder of Trifo said.

Trifo produces in Dongguan, Shenzhen's neighboring city, which is known as a key manufacture hub of China. The city has been making strenuous effort in recent years to move up the value chain by attracting more high-tech manufactures.

With its first product, Trifo addresses the lack of fully integrated robotic systems by building a smart consumer robot vacuum with increased functionality at a far lower cost than other well-known home vacuum products.

"A true home robot has to have an advanced level of perception and be capable of interacting with occupants," said Zhang. "Robot vacuum cleaners are currently the only home robots on the market, and unfortunately they are not as smart as people think."

Focusing on indoor home environments, Trifo has developed an end-to-end integrated hardware/software system, with sensing, perception, and decision capabilities designed to perceive physics, geometry and home environment semantics, to enable robots to communicate with humans more naturally and continuously learn new skills.

Philip Solis, research director at ABI Research, a market-foresight advisory firm providing strategic guidance on the most compelling transformative technologies, said: "The industry is in the midst of a long-anticipated leap from standalone robots to robots that are part of an expanded and more integrated smart home ecosystem."

"The overall consumer robotics industry is on the verge of a major transformation that leverages the evolution of the smartphone market, cloud-based services, and the smart home," Solis added.

The smart household market in China is expected to reach 581.93 billion yuan ($84 billion) by 2020, according to PR Newswire. It was 325.47 billion yuan in 2017, with intelligent home appliances accounting for 86.9 percent.

The International Federation of Robotics (predicts the household personal service robots market will reach $11 billion by 2022. Within the household, for example, chores alone cost an estimated $11 trillion a year in consumer time today, a figure expected to reach nearly $23 trillion in 2025 according to McKinsey Global Institute (MGI).

The CIIE runs from Monday to Saturday in Shanghai this week.

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