Thursday, January 05, 2006

Robot Park Opens in Korea

By Cho Jin-seo
Staff Reporter, The Korea Times
Puchon, Kyonggi Province, S. Korea

After six months of preparation, Robo Park opened last week as Korea’s first and only year-round robot museum in Puchon (Bucheon), a town sandwiched between Seoul and Inchon. The park has some 30 kinds of household and industrial robots on display, and most of them are purchased from 17 companies located in the very same building as the museum.

``First, we built it as a showroom for robot manufacturers in the industrial complex,’’ said Byun Jong-hwan, director of Robo Park. ``But while we were working with the plan, we came to think that it would be able to serve the regional community as well, providing a good educational opportunity for young children.’’

Director Byun says that one visitors’ favorite is a six-member troupe of Robonova, which give a 3-minute dancing performance on a classical number using their 14 human-like joints. Another popular figure is Mr. Face, which can make 10 facial expressions using its mechanical muscles.

The park was funded by the city and central government 50-50, and it is a part of South Korea’s plan to foster the smart robot industry.

Aiming to make robot technology a key growth engine in the country, the Ministry of Science and Technology last month said that it aims to make it a 100-trillion-won industry by 2020.
Also, the Ministry of Information and Communication announced a plan to prompt local firms to commercially launch household robots, such as robot vacuum cleaners and guard robots with an affordable price range of between 1 million and 2 million won this year.

The Korea Times : First Robot Park Opens in Puchon: "Robo Park "



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