Robots rock at international expo in Korea

Machines are grabbing center stage at Robot World 2006, the first international robot exposition to be held in Korea.
The event at COEX exhibition hall in southern Seoul featured EveR-1, a young female humanoid robot, playing the role of commentator for the opening ceremony. Hubo, another humanoid robot with the face of Albert Einstein, stood next to Commerce Minister Chung Sye-kyun for the tape-cutting.
EveR-1’s sister, EveR-2 Muse, stepped on stage to make her debut as a singer with the ballad “I will close your eyes,” but unfortunately some parts in her neck had been damaged after her morning photo shoot with the press, and she had to stand stiff-necked and lip-sync to the music with minimal arm motion.
The five-day event, hosted by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy, includes exhibitions by 80 Korean and foreign enterprises and conferences with participants from 30 countries.

“Robot technology has developed in spectacular fashion over the last 50 years, and it has found application in nearly every aspect of our lives, from industrial healthcare and hazardous jobs to housework. The robot industry is expected to become a strategic high value-added industry,” Mr. Chung said.
“Thanks to a public that eagerly adopts cutting-edge products, there is a very high interest in service robots nationwide. The Korean robot market is expanding more than 100 percent every year and to sustain the robust growth, the government is actively implementing a government-wide master plan so that every household will be able to have one robot by 2013,” he added.
As the main event, the International Robot Industry Show will showcase robot developers and vendors. The types of robots involved in this exposition are diverse, ranging from household robots such as robot vacuum cleaners, to education robots, manufacturing (industrial) robots and futuristic robots, such as androids.

Also included in the venue is the International Robot Contest. Competition categories include soccer, basketball games and survival games. Contestants, of course, may only be robots. About 900 teams are participating in 22 categories.
The robot exposition also encompasses a number of academic events, such as the Korea Robot Conference. Prominent robot experts will speak about the development of intelligent robots and the status of technology development in advanced countries.
As for EveR-2 Muse, the team of researchers from the Korea Institute of Industrial Technology, led by Baek Moon-hong, which developed EveR-2 Muse, said the debutante would be “fixed” within the next couple days.

by Wohn Dong-hee for JoongAng Daily


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