South Korea rolled out a blueprint to foster its robot industry on March 22 with the aim of becoming the fourth-largest player in the sector with a market size of 15 trillion won ($13.2 billion) in 2023.
Under the plan, Korea is expected to have 20 companies with annual revenues of 100 billion won and above in the year, up from six in 2018, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said.
The size of the country’s robot industry was estimated at around 5.7 trillion won last year.
“Following the recent development of new technologies, including artificial intelligence and fifth-generation network, robots are getting smarter, and they are anticipated to be applied throughout a wider area of daily life,” Industry Minister Sung Yun-mo said.
Sung said Korea will emerge as one of the leading players in the industry by fostering both manufacturing and service robots.
South Korea is currently among the leaders in terms of applying robots in electronics and automobile sectors. According to the ministry’s data, Korea has around 710 robots per 10,000 workers in the manufacturing segment, far above the global average of 85.
The country, however, still lags behind in terms of applying such equipment in other areas, including the textile and foodstuff industries. There are around 140,000 robots in the electronics segment, far above the 2,500 units estimated for the textile industry, the ministry said.
To boost further growth, Korea plans to apply more robots in the service sector as well.
The government is currently reviewing a 300 billion won project to foster service robot systems that will run from 2020 to 2026.
Accordingly, the ministry will allocate 100 billion won starting in 2020 to acquire technologies for core robot parts, namely intelligent controller, self-driving sensor, and smart gripper, along with software, over the following seven years.
By Ram Garikipati and newswires (firstname.lastname@example.org)