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Midea introduces home service robot

Midea Group, a leading maker of home appliances, unveiled its first version of a home service robot in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, on Thursday.

The robot — under the new brand Wishug — can provide services from cleaning to daily life assistance, safety and online gaming, according to Tang Jian, general manager of Midea's AI innovation center.

"The robot is expected to create a home service trend. Advanced technologies including artificial intelligence will be better integrated into people's daily lives," Tang said, adding that the home service products will be offered for sale in the second half of this year.

The introduction of the AI robot is part of Midea's effort to transform itself from a traditional home appliance manufacturer into a leading technology-driven company in an AI and internet of things era.

"Based on our advantages in manufacturing and technological strength, we will offer more digital solutions in our products and launch new AI and IoT services for users in the near future," said Zhang Xiaoyi, vice president and chief information officer of Midea.

The company also set an ambitious goal for digitalization of its business by 2025 — including construction of a direct-to-consumer digital platform and nurturing one to two companies in the digital innovation area to be listed for public trading.

"Digital solutions will help boost sales of our traditional home appliances products," he said.

Midea has developed a team of about 6,000 technological staff in the company's IT, cloud computing and various business departments, Zhang said.

"In people's future home lives, artificial intelligence will be a housekeeper that is integrated with an intelligent digital brain and virtual reality, demonstrating the beauty of life technology," he said.

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