Artificial Intelligence

South Korea is a world leader in the development and adoption of advanced robotics technology and has an ambitious plan to put a robot in every household by 2020. Several robot cities are about to be constructed in the country, with the first city being built in 2009 at a cost of 500 billion won, of which 50 billion is direct government investment. The new robot city will feature research and development centers for manufacturers and part suppliers, as well as exhibition halls and a stadium for robot competitions.

The government is also investing another $1.3 billion to build two new robot theme parks in Incheon and Masan by 2013, which will be developed as centres for the country's robot industry, featuring a number of attractions that allow visitors to interact with robots and test new products. The country's new Robotics Ethics Charter will establish ground rules and laws for human interaction with robots in the future, setting standards for robotics users and manufacturers, as well as guidelines on ethical standards to be programmed into robots to prevent human abuse of robots and vice versa.

Faced with a critically low birth rate and an aging population, the country is quickly turning to robots to replace disappearing workers and loss of military manpower. Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology developed the world's second walking humanoid robot, HUBO. In 2005, KAIST announced they had created the world's smartest robot, able to think and learn like a human. It is the first network based humanoid in the world taking advantage of South Korea's advanced communication network. In 2006, South Korean scientists from the Korea University of Science and Technology unveiled the world's second female android, Ever-1, capable of expressing human emotions.

Its successors are expected to walk, sing and dance, to be used in department stores and museums, as well as reading stories to children. Engineers from Samsung Techwin revealed in 2006 the Intelligent Surveillance and Guard Robot, a machine-gunned sentry robot able to detect and repel intruders along the heavily armed border with North Korea.