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October Debut for Housecleaning Robots

Posted February. 09, 2006 04:30,   


Robots that can perform house chores such as cleaning, reading books and teaching beginner-level English to children will be available to the public starting October. The robots will cost about one million won each.

On February 8, Chin Dae-je, minister of Information and Communication (MIC) announced his office’s “Work Plan for 2006” at the ministry office in Seoul and said, “Low-end robots will be available starting October, and they will help people with house chores.”

The Ministry of Information and Communication launched the project team for low-end robots last October and designated six companies – KT, Samsung Electronics, Hanool Robotics Corp, Yujin Robot, Easyio Tech, and Dasa Tech – as participatory companies.

Minister Chin added, “Within this year, five low-end robots priced less than two million won will be introduced to market. By 2010, Korea will become one of the world’s top three leaders in robotics, and by 2020 every household will have at least one robot.”

The robots will have different functions and features depending on manufacturers.

Samsung Electronics will produce remote-controlled robots through mobile phones that clean and monitor houses.

Hanool Robotics in the Daedeok Research and Development Special Zone, Daejeon, will manufacture robots that not only do house chores but also narrate fairy tales and teach English.

Yujin Robot plans to make robots that provide information on weather and news as well as do house chores and provide educational functions. Dasa Tech will produce pet robots that are cute and express emotions.

Oh Sang-rok, director of the project team of MIC, said, “In March and July, prototypes will be made. In October, we will select 650 households with broadband network and supply them with the robots. By the end of this year, 2,000 robots are expected to be in use.”

Young-Hae Choi yhchoi65@donga.com