“Tiangong” triggers a change in humanoid robot concept stocks, and industry outlook for a decrease in manufacturing costs

On April 29th, Ubisoft rose over 20% in the morning trading, and the stock prices of several humanoid robots in A-shares were also rising. Tianqi Shares rose to the limit, Haozhi Electromechanical rose 15.19%, Leisai Intelligent rose 4.21%, Jiangsu Leili rose 6.94%, Fengli Intelligent rose 3.96%, and Mingzhi Electric rose 3.47%.

Ubisoft is the “number one humanoid robot company” in China, and Tianqi Group is a cooperative manufacturer of Ubisoft. Haozhi Electromechanical, Fengli Intelligent, Jiangsu Leili and others are robot suppliers, producing reducers and other products.

On the news side, the humanoid robot industry has made some progress recently. Recently, the Beijing Humanoid Robot Innovation Center released the world’s first fully electric driven humanoid robot mother platform, “Tiangong,” which can achieve stable running at 6km/h and pass through slopes and stairs under blind vision. Related videos show that humanoid robots can still climb up and down slopes after removing their “head”. The innovation center is led by Ubisoft and jointly established with Xiaomi Robotics, Jingcheng Electromechanical, and others.

In addition, the trend of humanoid robot technology towards electric drive has become more apparent in recent times. Manufacturers such as Ubisoft and Tesla have adopted the electric drive technology route. This month, Boston Power, which originally used the hydraulic drive route, has also switched to the electric drive route.

On April 16th, Boston Power announced the retirement of the hydraulic version of Atlas, followed by the release of the electrically driven Atlas humanoid robot. In the new generation Atlas video, the robot achieves joint rotation of over 180 degrees, making it lighter and more flexible than the hydraulic version. The reporter learned that the convergence of robot form and technological route is of great significance for the development of the humanoid robot industry, which will mean that the components of the industrial chain can be more standardized and the cost can be more controllable.

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There is also new news about the commercialization landing.

On April 23rd, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that Tesla’s humanoid robot, Optimus Prime, may perform tasks in the factory by the end of this year for internal use, with limited production possibly as early as the end of next year and supply to external customers. The industrial version of the humanoid robot Walker S has been trained in a new energy vehicle factory and is scheduled to be delivered by the end of the year. According to a research report by CITIC Securities, with the launch of the electric drive version of Atlas, Boston Power has partnered with Hyundai Group to actively promote the application of humanoid robots.

Commercialization is crucial for humanoid robot enterprises. Taking Ubisoft as an example, although the company is well-known for its humanoid robot business, its revenue in the past three years has not been dominated by humanoid robots. In 2023, Ubisoft’s revenue from education intelligent robots and solutions, logistics intelligent robots and solutions, robots and other hardware equipment accounted for a total of 93.8%, while the revenue from customized intelligent robots and solutions in other industries where humanoid robots are located accounted for only 5.9%.

The industry is also looking forward to humanoid robots being more affordable in price. The average price of the Ubisoft Walker series robots exceeds 5 million yuan, while Boston Power’s previous humanoid robots cost over a million dollars per unit. At this month’s performance review and outlook meeting, the management of Ubisoft stated that cost reduction requires mass production. Currently, the structural components of the structure have not been mass-produced on a large scale, and they are the first version components that have not yet been molded, resulting in high costs. In the future, if they reach several hundred or even thousands of units, they can directly mold, which can significantly reduce costs.

NVIDIA CEO Huang Renxun recently predicted in a conversation that the price of humanoid robots will significantly decrease. “It can be foreseen that the manufacturing cost of humanoid robots may be much lower than people expected, perhaps not higher than $10000 to $20000. You can buy a car for $10000 to $20000, why can’t you have a humanoid robot for $10000 to $20000?” said Huang Renxun.

However, although several manufacturers have recently demonstrated the ability to combine humanoid robots with large models, it is still too early to discuss the implementation of large language models on humanoid robots.

An AI technology researcher told reporters that after connecting Figure 01 to the OpenAI big model, it can communicate with humans, retrieve items, and more. However, this demonstrates more of the capabilities of the big model itself, rather than the significant breakthroughs made in humanoid robot technology itself. Ubisoft also recently showcased a humanoid robot video after integrating into Baidu’s Wenxin Big Model. The management of Ubisoft previously told reporters that the integration of humanoid robots and large models is still in the research and development stage, and it is difficult to guarantee that they will meet the requirements of landing products this year or next year. One reason is that large models have appeared for a short time, and there is a lack of data in scenario applications, resulting in a lack of sufficient validation in the application scenario.

In addition to the secondary market focusing on the concept of humanoid robots, investment in the domestic humanoid robot track has also maintained high popularity. In January of this year, Xingdong Era, which had been established for less than half a year, announced the completion of over 100 million yuan in angel round financing. In February, Yushu Technology completed nearly 1 billion yuan in B2 round financing.

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