Asia Times Online :: Korea News and Korean Business and Economy, Pyongyang News
Robots go for gold
SEOUL – An international robot competition kicked off here on Thursday to showcase the latest technological advances in robotics, organizers said.
A total of 320 contestants from 10 countries are participating in the four-day 2005 International Robot Olympiad at the Korea International Exhibition Center (KINTEX) northwest of Seoul. South Korea is fielding 130 players and robots.
Organizers said this year’s event, the seventh of its kind, will have 16 types of competition such as fighting, dancing and basketball.
In addition, the machines will compete in a marathon to check their endurance, find their way through mazes and negotiate various obstacles such as stairs. A robot soccer tournament will also entertain audiences.
The games will be divided into three main categories based on the age of those who submit robots.
The junior league is for children under 12, the challenge league is for children between 13 and 18 and the robo league is for those over 19.
One of the events that is expected to generate interest among visitors is the cleaning robot exhibition, which will show all machines currently being produced by local companies that can clean homes.
“The events are aimed at promoting interest and development of more intelligent robots,” said Kim Hye-won, administrator of the Agency for Technology and Standards.
The official, who heads the state agency that is sponsoring the Olympiad, said South Korea is moving to establish safety and capability guidelines so people will be able to buy robots and be assured of their quality.
The first games were held in South Korea in 1999, and following competitions took place in such venues as Hong Kong and Mainland China. Next year’s games are scheduled to be held in Australia.
Reflecting the extent of interest in robots, organizers said the Robot Olympiad is attracting more people every time it is held.