November 7 2022
flood – The first iPhone launched in 2007, wowed markets all over the world because it had everything people wanted. The first smartphone combines everyday features into one palm-sized device, opening a new era for humanity to pursue a technology-driven life.
Robots will lead the next revolutionary technology, according to the head of the Korea Institute for the Advancement of the Robotics Industry (KIRIA), Chun Wong-hee, if they provide advanced services that meet “human desires” just as the first iPhone did 15 years ago.
The perception towards robots has evolved from something interesting to something essential for business, as they replace workers with repetitive and physically demanding tasks. In an interview with The Korea Herald, Sean said:
Robots have so far played supportive roles for humans in manufacturing chips and auto parts, two major export items for South Korea. Companies rely heavily on robots for cost competitiveness, quality improvement, performance management, and meeting delivery deadlines, according to Sean.
Besides industrial robots and collaborative robots in factories, more robots are being used in the service industry. They are used in food and beverage services, logistics and agricultural purposes, among others. It is also being actively developed among companies in other sectors such as semiconductors, artificial intelligence, drones, software and autonomous vehicles. He said that the application of robotics to a variety of fields to perform more complex tasks will open up a new market for the robotics industry.
“The robotics sector itself does not take up a large part of the country’s industry, but the amount of cooperation it creates with other sectors is huge,” Shaun said.
Shaun is a robotics expert with over 30 years of experience as an engineer. He became the new head of KIRIA last year. KIRIA is a state-run institute established in 2010. Working with the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, the institute has led many events and promotional activities for the growth of the robotics industry in South Korea, and has been involved in nurturing related talents.
As the world’s first country, South Korea created a law in 2010 to promote the development of intelligent robots. Every five years since then, the government has released action plans for using robots in people’s daily lives. Such plans removed restrictive hurdles and allowed companies to run pilot projects such as Hyundai Motor Group’s self-driving shuttle bus and Baemin’s door-to-door food delivery robot in certain areas.
Sean said KIRIA could provide a regulatory sandbox with flexibility around certain regulations for temporary periods to boost the robotics industry.
He added that the use of robots would also alleviate labor shortages in some industries such as agriculture, converting “3D” tasks (dirty, dangerous and difficult) in the field into “ACE” (automatic, clean and easy) tasks.
To popularize this perception, KIRIA will participate in the first electric and autonomous agriculture exhibition scheduled to be held on Jeju Island from Tuesday to Thursday, to provide insights into the latest trends and technologies of agricultural machinery.
The exhibition is part of the annual International Electric Vehicle Show that has been held on the island every year since 2013. The Korea Herald is the media partner of this event.
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