Guimu Robot:  from local to global market

来源:《一带一路报道》2021年第2期

“科学是我们时代的神经系统”。茫茫宇宙、浩瀚星空,经历了前三次科技革命后,整个世界发生了天翻地覆的改变,也使人类社会发展进入了空前繁荣的阶段。

“Science is the nervous system of our time.” The world has undergone earth-shaking changes after the first three technological revolutions. The human society now sees unprecedented prosperity.

进入21世纪,第四次科技革命带着全新的面貌奔腾而来,以人工智能为首的科技手段一次次刷新了人类对科技改变世界的想象。人工智能在当下贡献了极大的经济价值,除了在生活场景中的运用,更是普遍地被应用于生产场景中。而作为道路病害检测机器人全球首创者(即利用人工智能对机场跑道、各级公路表观与结构进行全覆盖高精度的检测),中国本土企业上海圭目机器人有限公司(以下简称“圭目”)引领了这个行业的发展方向。

The fourth is taking place into the 21st century. People have found new ways to change the world with more technological means, among which, artificial intelligence has contributed great economic value as it is widely used in life and production. The Chinese company Shanghai Guimu Robot Co., Ltd. is a leader in this industry and the world’s pioneer in roadbed disease detection robots (which serve to conduct comprehensive and precise detection of the performance and structure of airport runways and highways at all levels based on artificial intelligence).

 

从参展到携手

From an exhibitor to a partner

2013年4月,德国汉诺威工业博览会如期举行,“工业4.0”在该届博览会上被首次提出,这场在世界工业强国德国举办的工业盛会更是强化了德国科技强国的影响力。汉诺威工业博览会负责人柯克勒这样表述,未来10年至15年,制造业的整合将对全球产业产生巨大影响,第四次工业革命已经到来。

Hannover Messe was held as scheduled in Germany on April 2013, where the idea of “Industry 4.0” was proposed for the first time. The event further strengthened the influence of Germany as a technological power. Dr. Jochen Koeckler, Chairman of its Managing Board, said that the integration of manufacturing will have a huge impact on global industries in the next 10 to 15 years, and the fourth industrial revolution is being greeted.

这场声势浩大的博览会吸引了全球65个国家和地区,约6500多家厂商参展,中国也派出了730家参展商成规模赶赴这场盛会,充分感受世界科技的魅力和能量。

The grand event attracted over 6,500 exhibitors from 65 countries and regions, with 730 from China to witness the technological charm and power from around the world.

6年后的2019年,圭目创始人、董事长桂仲成参加了德国精英人才交流会,会上他分享了公司在特种机器人道面结构检测方面的研究创新和实例。会后桂仲成博士被主办方引荐给德国慕尼黑机场负责人,这位负责人以德国人常有的严肃谨慎态度告诉桂仲成博士,德国目前还没有这样的人工智能技术,他们很希望能够与之合作,为机场道面安全检测提供保障。

Six years later, in 2019, Guimu’s founder and chairman Gui Zhongcheng attended the German Talent Meeting, where he talked about the company’s innovations in the detection of pavement structures by specialized robots and listed examples. After the meeting, Dr. Gui Zhongcheng was introduced by the organizer to the head of Munich Airport in Germany, and was told that Germany, now with a gap in this area, would like to work with him in safety detection for airport runways.

德国汉诺威工业博览会上展出的智能机器人(网络图片)

一转眼到了2020年,新冠疫情的突袭让国际合作几乎都暂缓了脚步,但是德方并没有忘记中国这家智能机器人公司。在2021年初,德方就发出了邀请函:2021年能否到德国进行项目考察,德方衷心期盼与圭目的合作。

The COVID-19 outbreak in 2020 became barriers to international cooperation. Germany, however, still keeps this Chinese company in mind. In early 2021, it sent an invitation letter, stating that it would like to proceed cooperation with Guimu if it can make an inspection visit to Germany this year.

从中国参展汉诺威工业博览会到德方主动邀请中国本土企业进行项目合作,短短几年间,中国在科技上的创新已经从小心翼翼探索到大踏步前进,这些都有赖于国家工业强国的政策引领,让本土科技创新企业在完成自身华丽转变的道路上有强大的政策、资金、人才等保障。

It took merely few years from the company’s participation in Hannover Messe to the invitation for cooperation. Previously a cautious explorer, China is now a bold technological innovator, thanks to the national policy. Chinese technological enterprises have thus been provided with support in policy, finance and talent.

 

圭臬智检,目及未来

Guimu looks forward to the future based on the intelligent detection technology

过去的一年里,全球都在与新冠疫情进行着艰难斗争。然而也正是这一年,圭目获得了国家科技部重大研发计划“跑道安全检测机器人”专项课题支持,这项国家级别的课题支持也极大地增强了桂仲成博士在重大交通基础设施立体检修智能机器人领域开拓的信心。

The world has fought COVID-19 for the past year. Also in this year, Guimu won the support from the Ministry of Science and Technology for its project “Runway Safety Detection Robot.” It greatly enhanced Dr. Gui’s confidence in the development of intelligent robots for the three-dimensional overhaul of major transportation infrastructure.

2016年,圭目正式创立,“‘圭目’中的‘圭’是古代测日影的仪器,有标准标杆之意,‘目’代表智慧。我希望在交通基础设施安全、智慧检测领域能够做到行业的标杆。最终用圭臬智检,目及未来。”谈及未来,桂仲成博士满怀雄心壮志。

In 2016, Guimu was officially founded. “Gui” in the name is an ancient instrument for measuring the shadow of the sun (hence as a standard or a benchmark), and “mu” represents wisdom. “I want to make a benchmark in the field of transportation infrastructure safety and intelligent detection. Guimu looks forward to the future based on the intelligent detection technology,” said Dr. Gui Zhongcheng full of ambitions.

全球首创道面健康检测机器人在北京大兴国际机场投入使用

仅成立三年后,在国家科技部与民航局的专项支持下,圭目联合机器人学科领域的国内外顶尖学者和行业机构研发的全球首创道面健康检测机器人面市并在全国各大机场,特别是以北京大兴国际机场为代表的智慧机场投入使用。

Only three years after its founding, Guimu, with the special support from the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Civil Aviation Administration of China, joined hands with top robotics scholars and related institutions at home and abroad, and launched the world’s first roadbed health detection robot. It has been put into use in major airports across China, especially the intelligence-based Daxing International Airport in Beijing.

此前,国内外机场主要基于人工的日常、定期、专项检测来掌握道面安全与健康信息,评估道面适航能力,决策道面的养护、维修与改造。但飞行道面对于机场来讲是最重要的资产之一,其健康状况对于机场安全、高效、科学运行具有决定性影响。因此保障机场道面的安全是重中之重。道面健康检测机器人的使用推动了机场道面管养从人工半自动抽样检测、低频静态评估、单一信息分析、基于经验事后被动粗放式养护、阶段性离散管养等方式向高频动态评估与预警、多元异构数据融合评价、基于数据预防性的精准养护、全寿命周期管养智能化全面精准检测而发展,使得机场道面管养更加数字化、智能化。

For airports at home and abroad in the past, the roadbed safety and health were mainly detected manually on a regular or special basis, so as to evaluate airworthiness and make decisions on maintenance, repair and renovation. Roadbed is one of the most important assets for the airport, and its health status has exerted decisive influence on the safety, efficiency and scientific operation of the airport. Therefore, to guarantee its safety is a top priority. With the use of roadbed health detection robots, semi-automatic sampling and detection, low-frequency static evaluation, single-source information analysis, post-event passive extensive maintenance based on experience, and staged discrete management were abandoned for roadbed management and maintenance at airports. In their place, high-frequency dynamic evaluation and early warning, multi-source heterogeneous fusion based evaluation, data-based preventive precise maintenance, full-life cycle intelligence-based management and maintenance, and comprehensive and accurate detection have been adopted, which makes it more digital and intelligent.

在G98海南环岛高速公路的部分检修路段上,经常会出现一台橙红色的机器人来回穿梭,这正是在为公路做表观病害和结构病害融合检测的圭目机器人。海南省G98东线高速公路部分路段,地处火山岩地区富含水地段和高液限土质地段,通车20多年来经常出现车辙、推移、拥包、沉降等病害,经几次较大程度的修复也没有明显改善。后来海南省公路管理局了解到圭目机器人的作用,引进了该机器人对部分病害严重路段进行检测以辅助科学决策,为设计修复方案的制定提供了精准数据支撑。

An orange-red robot is often seen on certain sections of G98 Island Hainan Ring Expressway. It was developed by Guimu for detecting the roadbed and structural diseases. These sections are located in volcanic areas rich in water and with high-liquid-limit soil. Diseases such as rutting, shifting, upheaval, and subsidence frequently occurred since G98 was opened to traffic for the past 20 years. There was no significant improvement even with several overhauls. Hainan Provincial Highway Administration learned about Guimu and bought its robot for the detection of certain sections with serious diseases. It provides accurate data, which, along with scientific decision-making, have contributed to the formulation of design schemes.

道面健康机器人检测系统示意图

 

全球布局下的国际合作

International cooperation under the global layout

在2020年5月举办的世界交通大会“一带一路”研讨会上,数据显示,截至2019年,国内机场数量已经超过500个,国外大型机场累计已达到3521个,预计到2030年国内机场数量将达到2000个,估测仅民用机场的跑道检测市场份额即高达224亿元。全国公路养护投资规模正逐年上升至每公里公路养护成本48万元左右,预估市场份额可达到240亿元~480亿元。

At the Belt and Road seminar held at the World Transportation Conference in May 2020, data shows that as of 2019, there were over 500 airports in China. The total number of large airports abroad had reached 3,521. It is estimated that the number in China will reach 2,000 by 2030, and the runway detection market share for civil airports alone had reached 22.4 billion yuan. The investment in highway maintenance in China has risen year by year to about 480,000 yuan per kilometer, and the estimated market share can reach 24 billion to 48 billion yuan.

这样一个数据让桂仲成深刻意识到自己当初的选择是正确的。24年前桂仲成从安徽大别山来到上海同济大学机械工程及自动化专业就读,硕士毕业后,又先后在清华大学、中国东方电气集团、美国德州农工大学以及北京京东方科技集团从事机器人技术研发和管理工作。基于丰厚的理论支撑、国家科技发展的前景和年轻人独有的“闯世界”的劲头,2015年,桂仲成决定创业。这一年正值“一带一路”倡议从提出到落实的阶段性时期,基础设施建设成为“一带一路”从大写意到工笔画的关键点。桂仲成和其他两位团队成员综合调研市场前景后,决定做道路安全性方面的检测机器人。

Seeing the data, Gui Zhongcheng knew that he made the right choice. Born in Dabie Mountains, Anhui, he was admitted to Tongji University in Shanghai 24 years ago and majored in mechanical engineering and automation. After graduation with a master’s degree, he worked in robotics R&D and management for Tsinghua University, DEC, Texas A&M University, and BOE. Given China’s prospect for technological development, and with rich theory and the pioneering spirit of a young man, Gui Zhongcheng decided to start his own business in 2015. In that year, the Belt and Road Initiative, with infrastructure building as a key component, was proposed and put into practice. Gui Zhongcheng and two teammates made the market research and decided to build a road safety detection robot.

全球首创道面健康检测机器人在澳门国际机场投入使用

如今,圭目机器人国内运营基地分布于上海、北京、成都、安徽,在美国、德国设有联合实验室,在香港、芬兰设有代表处。仅成都研发基地就有50余位成员,研发人员占到了2/3。

Today, Guimu has robotics R&D bases in Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu, and Anhui in China, laboratories in the United States and Germany, and offices in Singapore and Finland. The base in Chengdu alone has more than 50 employees, two-thirds of whom are researchers.

“新冠疫情给我们的国际合作带来了不小的影响,也让我们走出国门的脚步放缓了,但我们不会就此停下。接下来,我们将更加着眼于亚洲和欧洲市场,争取将智能机器人推向全球市场。”桂仲成博士很有把握地说。

“COVID-19 hinders the international cooperation and has slowed our pace of going abroad, but we will not stop. Next, we will focus more on the Asian and European markets, and strive to bring intelligent robots to the global market,” Dr. Gui Zhongcheng said confidently.

 

与创始人桂仲成对话:

Dialogue with the founder Gui Zhongcheng:

记者:作为行业领域的佼佼者,一路走来,您认为最难的是什么?

Reporter: As a leader in the industry, what do you think is the most difficult?

桂仲成:在道面检测智能机器人这样一个细分领域,是没有参照物的,培育市场的客户从0到1的这个过程很难,让大家认同这个技术的价值所在更难。因此需要通过示范让他们认识到价值,当客户认识到了价值后,我们还需要主动找到他们,让更多的行业能够接受这样的技术。这是一种价值认同的体现,过程很难,但我们一路坚持下来了。

Gui Zhongcheng: Intelligent robots for roadbed detection are a market segment with no reference. It is difficult to cultivate the market from scratch, and it is even more difficult for people to recognize its technological value. We do it through demonstration. Even when customers see the value, we need to approach them to introduce it to more industries. It is about value identification. It’s difficult, but we have persevered.

记者:在这样全新领域做企业,您认为最重要的是什么?

Reporter: What do you think is the most important for doing business in such a new field?

桂仲成:我们是创业企业,技术创新是唯一的发展路径。技术和产品创新性是非常重要的,同时在人才的培育上更需要独具慧眼以及长久的培养。创新是根本,人才是基石,过程比的是耐力、坚持不懈的劲头。

Gui Zhongcheng: We are a start-up, and technological innovation is the only path. Technology and product innovation are critical. Also, the cultivation of talents requires discernment and long-term training. Innovation is fundamental. Talent is the cornerstone, and we are competitive in endurance and perseverance.

记者:2020年公司获得国家科技部重大研发计划课题支持,您认为这意味着什么?

Reporter: The company won support from the Ministry of Science and Technology in 2020. What does that mean, in your opinion?

桂仲成:获得这个课题支持非常难,除我们一家外,都是央企,面对非常强劲的对手,竞争相当激烈。获得这个课题支持是国家和社会对我们前期技术基础的认可 ,同时更说明这个方向是符合未来趋势和方向的,给了我们足够的信心和勇气继续走下去。

Gui Zhongcheng: It was difficult to get the support. Our competitors are outstanding state-owned enterprises. The support indicates the governmental and social recognition of our technical foundation, and also shows that the industry is in line with future. It gives us enough confidence and courage to keep on.