Artificial Intelligence

Q&A: What role will robots play in our lives?

A staff walks past robots serving at a nursery home in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China, May 17, 2016.

Image: REUTERS/Stringer

Ding Xia
Alumni, Global Shapers Community, Ecovacs Robotics Company
Our Impact
What's the World Economic Forum doing to accelerate action on Artificial Intelligence?
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how Artificial Intelligence is affecting economies, industries and global issues
A hand holding a looking glass by a lake
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale
Stay up to date:

Artificial Intelligence

This article is part of: Annual Meeting of the New Champions

Ding Xia is a Director of Investment at Ecovacs Robotics and a Global Shaper with the Suzhou Hub.

How do you see the home of the future? What role will robots play in our lives?

A robot is not only a machine, but also a housekeeper and partner. Robots can help us do things we don’t like to do or can't do; besides, they listen to us, know what we need, and interact with us in the same way families do.

Can you tell us about Unibot, Ecovacs’ recently launched multifunctional robot?

Unibot is a house-keeping robot developed by Ecovacs. It cleans our homes, but more than that, it can manage household appliances, it acts as home security, gives us reminders, and is an air purifier.

Unibot is our effort at exploring the area of more intelligent and humanized household robots. It is not just a combo of various functions, but is a technological breakthrough. It passes on our brand vision ‘Live Smart. Enjoy Life’.

Image: Ecovacs Robotics

In your spare time, you run a networking event for entrepreneurs. What are your impressions of the start-up scene in China?

First of all, it is now very popular for people to start their own business in China. Since Premier Li Keqiang proposed ‘mass entrepreneurship and innovation’ in the World Economic Forum's 2014 meeting in China, countless startups have sprung up. Besides, start-ups in fields including the internet/internet plus, robotics, and AI tend to be favored since these are the trends of future. What’s more, good policy, abundant capital, and technology greatly support the start-up scene. I am deeply convinced that this is the best era to start-up in China.

What more could be done to boost entrepreneurship levels in your region?

Personally, I am an investor from a robotic company, and also run an incubator and accelerator, which focuses on robotics and artificial intelligence. From my work, start-ups seek support in areas like services, including legal and financial consulting, accessing financing support and industrial chain resources.

What are your hopes for the future of your city, Suzhou?

My hope is more and more start-ups will emerge, grow up, and will have the power to benefit the people and contribute to the development of Suzhou.

Have you read?
Don't miss any update on this topic

Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.

Sign up for free

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Related topics:
Artificial IntelligenceEntrepreneurshipFourth Industrial Revolution
World Economic Forum logo
Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

Subscribe today

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

AI: Will governance catch up with the tech in 2024?

David Elliott

March 1, 2024

About Us



Partners & Members

  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2024 World Economic Forum