By Chloe Wong | Nowadays when we talk about robotics and robots, we mostly think of their applications and how they foster human civilization and city digitalization. In fact, for many decades robots have been created purely for entertaining purposes rather than for application. Leonardo da Vinci drew up plans for a robot at the end of the 15th Century, and the oldest known ‘automaton’ was created in the late-1700s.
More recently, robots have been a fascination to many – especially those who watched Gundama and Tetsujin 28-go growing up. The Shenzhen-based GJS team produces personal-sized, fighting robots designed for combat between competitors. Founded in 2015, the company has a young team of believers who’ve been passionate about robots since a very young age and want to turn their childhood dreams into reality.
Tangibilizing your imagination into something you can actually hold on your palm isn’t easy – especially when you’re talking about making robots. While you’ve got your eyebrow raised, GJS is proof that actually it is possible.
Initially the idea was to create robots with two legs and they thought, “ Isn’t that what a robot should look like, just like all the TV shows and movies?” It’s only when it went into production that they realized there are still a lot of technical limitations to producing a ‘two-legged robot’. Despite having recurring technical roadblocks, the team says ‘no’ to boundaries.
“There are way too many technical issues that we need to solve. Our friends could not even believe we are trying to create robots, but we did what we wanted since a kid anyway,” says GJS CMO Robert Lou in Hong Kong at a recent demonstration event at Arco City, a coworking and shared office space in Wanchai.
In July 2016, GJS’s Ganker robot went on a crowdfunding campaign and raised over USD$120,000. In the last quarter of 2017, they secured over RMB 10 million with a Series A investment by Tencent.
GJS launched another crowdfunding campaign last year with the new product GEIO, a battle bot with visual recognition. This fighting robot has become popular around the world, with fans from United States, UK, Europe, and Asia. A true epitome of “if you can dream it, you can do it.”