Ten robots have started working as customs officers at three ports in China’s Guangdong province, authorities said. They were the first batch of intelligent robots, to be used by Chinese customs at the ports of Gongbei, Hengqin and Zhongshan, Xinhua news agency reported. The robots, named Xiao Hai, have state-of-the-art perception technology and are able to listen, speak, learn, see and walk. Based on a specialised customs database, the robots can answer questions in 28 languages and dialects, including Cantonese, Mandarin, English and Japanese.
There are some particular problems they cannot solve, and customs officials said they will link the robots to their customer service hotline in the future. With face recognition technology, the robots can detect suspicious people and raise an alarm, according to Zhao Min, director of Gongbei customs.
Even in the past, a surgical robot in China’s Guangdong province successfully carried out a kidney surgery on a six-year-old boy. The surgery was carried out in the First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou city on November 16, the People’s Daily reported. Hospital authorities said it is the very first robotic surgery performed on a child in the region. The child was diagnosed with severe left kidney hydronephrosis – severe swelling of the kidney due to failure of normal drainage of urine to the bladder. As the boy was old enough and his symptoms were clear-cut, the hospital decided to employ the da Vinci Surgical System, using robotic manipulators.