By Wang Binlai, Liu Xinwu, People’s Daily
The Smart China Expo (SCE) 2021 held in southwest China’s Chongqing municipality from August 23 to 25 has impressed visitors deeply with cutting-edge technologies.
Visitors at the event got the chance to experience a multitude of sci-tech innovations and artificial intelligence (AI) applications, including a nimble robotic arm that could hand ice cream to visitors, virtual shopping with the help of virtual reality (VR) glasses, and an AI portrait painting device that allows users to change the style of their pictures via a simple click on the screen.
A total of 611 enterprises from 31 countries and regions exhibited their products at the expo via online and offline platforms. They signed 92 major projects worth 252.4 billion yuan ($39 billion), which covered intelligent manufacturing, digital economy, science and technology, and other realms.
Industrial Internet was highlighted in all parts of the SCE 2021, including exhibitions, forums, and competitions. A special exhibition area covering 20,000 square meters was arranged at the event to showcase new products and technologies in the field.
Guangyu Mingdao Digital Technology Co., Ltd., an industrial Internet platform provider, displayed a replica of its smart factories at the industrial Internet exhibition area, which was particularly eye-catching.
“In our smart factories, there are no assembly lines, but only ‘production islands’, each of which represents a production unit. Robots shuttle among the ‘islands’ to convey materials,” said Zhang Zhuowen, general manager of the customer-to-manufacturer division of the company.
The industrial Internet platform of the smart factories enables stronger connection between production lines, suppliers, and customers, and can adjust the manufacturing process for small lot production according to individualized demands of customers, Zhang added.
At the Lijia Yuelai Smart Park in Chongqing, which showed the application scenarios of digital technologies in people’s daily life as part of the activities of the SCE 2021, visitors understood better how technologies make their life more convenient and wonderful.
At the smart park, curtains were drawn open through voice control; computer screens showed information and materials about meetings for the day, and what was said in the meetings was transcribed and translated into multiple languages and displayed on the screens as subtitles, and visitors were able to enjoy immersive performances with VR glasses.
China-Belarus Industrial Park Development Company based in Minsk, capital of Belarus, brought to the China-SCO digital economy cooperation exhibition hall of the event an intelligent system that can realize highly accurate serial and parallel transport of goods between two vehicles. The company has also exhibited its many other sci-tech achievements, including a robot for cleaning and polishing wind turbine blades, which can climb slopes and surmount obstacles and satisfy the requirements of robot-assisted assembly systems for mobile platforms.
During the period when the SCE 2021 was held, the China-Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Forum on the Digital Economy Industry also took place in Chongqing.
Benefited from the SCE 2021 and the China-SCO Forum on the Digital Economy Industry, countries and companies have further extended their road to openness and cooperation.
So far, Chongqing has forged a friendly and cooperative relationship with nearly 30 regions of the SCO countries. Last year, the city’s volume of trade with SCO countries exceeded 32.5 billion yuan.
SCO Secretary-General Vladimir Imamovich Norov considered the construction and development of the Trade and Economic Multifunctional Platform for SCO Countries a major fruit of the China-SCO Forum on the Digital Economy Industry. The platform can help establish connections and promote exchanges among SCO member states’ special economic zones, business incubators, and sci-tech parks, he said at the forum.
Chongqing has held the SCE for four consecutive years, not only energizing the AI industry in the city but creating a friendly atmosphere for the development of the industry.
A large batch of major projects have been signed and implemented in Chongqing, allowing the city to attract the latest technologies, AI industries, talents, and other elements of innovation from around the world at a faster pace.
Driven by the SCE 2021 and the China-SCO Forum on the Digital Economy Industry, more emerging projects are expected to be implemented in Chongqing and other cities in western China, and digital technologies are being applied in a wider variety of scenarios including education, tourism, and medicine in these regions.