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Robotic Bartenders, Surgeons and Bats at World Robot Conference

A robotic flying fox, automated bartendersand a mechanical life-sized NBA basketball player are among the thousands ofeye-catching exhibitions at the third annual World Robot Conference.

The four-day event is currently underway inBejing, China. It kicked off on August 15 and is expected to attract more than50,000 visitors throughout the conference.

Harbin Haiying Robotic Manufacturingshowcased its miniature tank furnished with a laser. Although balloons are itsonly target at the event, Liu Hasheng, director of the company, said that ithas the capability of being equipped with real ammunition.

"This robot can carry weapons weighing20kg at a speed of 40km/h. Battery endurance stands at four hours," hesaid.

Healthcare and surgical robots allowedvisitors to catch a glimpse of the future, with pharmaceutical companies likeFosun Pharma expecting major breakthroughs in medical robots to occur over thenext five years.

"The DaVinci robotic arm can imitate howhuman hands work. It can rotate in a 540-degree range while the maximum rangeof a human hand is within 270 degrees," said sales manager Fosun Pharma,Zhou Jiantong.

Jiantong said that the machine "cancomplete complicated operations as well as minimally invasive surgery".

The company Festo brought the event to aflying start when it showcased its gliding fox. The exhibit was inventedthrough the use of "biomimicry". This technique uses designs based onnature, such as the geometry of a bat's wings.

Yan Yu, sales manager of Festo, noted thatpolymer composites were used to construct the wings, making it "both lightand stretchy".

China has one of the largest robotic markets worldwide,although it aims to surpass its competitors such as Europe, North America andJapan in robotic production, according to the President of the Association forAdvancing Automation, Jeff Burnstein.

"China is making rapid progress in partbecause of their Made in China 2025 programme. They have a national strategythat maybe surpasses the strategies of their competitors," he said.

(article source: Euronews)