June 30, 2005 14:52
Imagine a robot that tells you the weather conditions and does chores for you. This will soon become reality at public offices and households in Korea, thanks to the government's so-called Ubiquitous Robotic Companion project. Expect to run into robots in local post offices in the latter half of this year.
Seoul's Ministry of Information and Communication has unveiled plans to introduce artificial intelligence to public offices and homes as early as October "By next year, we plan to make these robots available to the public, which will cost about one million won." That is equivalent to US$1,000.
If vacuuming houses and entertaining you isn't enough, the robot will also keep your house and office from intruders. "You have trespassed. I'll shoot if you move."
This is in line with the government's ambition to become one of the world's top three intelligent robot-manufacturing nations by 2007. The ministry plans to raise financial and policy support for the local robot industry that, the government believes, has a potential to develop into a US$30-billion business in the near future.
With the government's bold measures, it looks like it won't be long before robots become part of daily lives here in Korea.
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