SUPCON opens new innovation center and launches Navigator α humanoid robot

The new Humanoid Robot Innovation Center is located in Zhejiang, China. | Credit: SUPCON

Over the past few years, the race to develop humanoid robots for commercial use has accelerated. SUPCON Technology Co. this month announced the Zhejiang Humanoid Robot Innovation Center and the debut of its first self-developed humanoid, Navigator α.

Founded in 1993, SUPCON provides control and safety systems, monitoring and optimization software, and measurement hardware and software. The Hangzhou, China-based company went public on the SIX Swiss Exchange in April 2023, raising $565 million, according to Crunchbase.

SUPCON’s product line includes offerings for energy management, supply chain management, industrial safety, and simulation. It also supports security and inspection tasks with wheeled and legged robots that can include an array of onboard sensors.

SUPCON’s current product line includes both a wheeled platform and a quadruped robot. | Credit: SUPCON

SUPCON unveils humanoid robot

The company launched a new humanoid robot, signaling its intentions to compete in the burgeoning humanoid space that is already becoming crowded with systems from many global and regional companies.

The Navigator α is 1.5 m (4.9 ft.) tall and weighs 50 kg (110 lb.). It has lightweight mechanical arms with a dexterous hand and multiple degrees of freedom. This hand features 15 finger joints, six active degrees of freedom, a fingertip force of 10N, a lightweight design of 600 g (1.3 lb.), and a joint speed of 150 degrees per second.

SUPCON said it plans to integrate large-scale AI models to achieve an intelligent human interface. The company claimed that Navigator α has been deployed in several field-proven projects.

The future of humanoid robots will depend on their utilization in specific scenarios and industries, said SUPCON. It said its near-term focus will be on bridging the gap between technological research and industrial demand to continue the progress.

The new Navigator α humanoid robot is the latest innovation from SUPCON. | Credit: SUPCON

New center to foster industry-academia interaction

SUPCON said its new innovation center aims to facilitate partnerships between academic institutions and industries in the area of humanoid robotics, as well as explore the potential uses of these robots in various industrial settings. The center’s primary focus is on intelligent sensing and control technologies, while it also works toward the development of fully operational robots.

The Zhejiang Humanoid Robot Innovation Center will function as a hub for technical research, product development, the nurturing of talent, and industrial growth, said SUPCON. The company said its investment in the center follows its strategic objective of seamlessly integrating artificial intelligence with robotics and supporting the evolution of the humanoid robot sector in China.

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