An article in the Asian Times Online reveals that South Korean robot manufacturers will be releasing a flurry of new products in the second half of 2005, many of which are ‘intelligent” robots (see Korea’s Intelligent Robot Industry at
). The article goes on to state that the intelligent robotics market is poised for dramatic growth and could reach 30 trillion won worldwide by 2013 (US $29.7 billion) from the current 300 billion won. While the exact numbers may be suspect, the fact remains that government, academic and corporate officials in Korea (and the rest of the industrialized world) are united in their belief that the robotics market is at a tipping point, with an intelligent robotics boom sure to follow. Low cost, single function household robots, as opposed to costly, complex ‘entertainment’ robots (whose functionality often revolves around cultural expectations), are seen as the initial drivers of this new market.
It is important to note that the Asian Times Online article rightly indicates that price and performance issues must be addressed for this class of product to succeed in the market. The article goes on to state that consumers tend to have inflated expectations of the performance of robotic products largely due to the images and functionality of robots and robotic technology portrayed in popular culture (thank you C3PO). This belief is widely held throughout the robotics industry, largely because it is true. The article goes on to state that the third gating factor to robotic market success, the lack of standards, will be addressed by the Korean Advanced Intelligent Robot Association (KAIRA), which is developing standards for network-based intelligent robots, as well as a common technical standard for robots for teenagers. Robotics developers across the globe can now sleep more soundly knowing that robotic standards for teenagers has been added to the rapidly growing list of robotics standards from which they may choose.