Chinese Children and their Robot Toys
Robots for children are more in demand in China than ever. In 2018 Smart Box has reached annual sales of 2.5 billion Yuan, while the annual sales are expected to reach 3.7 billion Yuan in 2020 (the average product price is between 500 Yuan and 3000 Yuan).
The main customers of this kind of robot are modern young parents with children under 6 years old. The app based robots for children on the market have two main features: teaching (English, Chinese, maths, etc.) and accompanying (telling stories, interaction with the robot, and video chat with parents). So the target of using robots for children is to find the balance between working and raising children.
Unlike parents in Germany, who have long maternity leave and the opportunity to work half day afterwards, mothers in China have 3 months of maternity leave and need to continue working 8 hours or even longer every day. So these robots can make a small contribution so that children can keep in touch with their parents during a workday, while grandparents are taking care of them.
Author: Yue Liu, Spiegel Institut Mannheim