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Robot love: South Korea to build robot theme parks

By Layer 8 on Tue, 11/13/07 - 3:03pm.

Who da man? Yull da man!Call it WestWorld Lives! South Korea officials today said they hope to build two robot theme parks for $1.6 billion by 2013.

On the Korea.com Web site officials said they consider robotics to be one of South Korea's key growth industries, emphasizing "service robots" that can clean homes and offer up entertainment. The robotics industry has grown about 40% a year since 2003, officials said.

The robot theme parks will be built in Incheon, and Masan, about 250 miles apart, officials said. The parks will feature a number of attractions that let visitors interact with robots and test new products. "The two cities will be developed as meccas for the country's robot industry, while having amusement park areas, exhibition halls and stadiums where robots can compete in various events," the ministry said.

Developing such theme parks are not big surprise as South Korea loves its robots. Earlier this year the government of South Korea said it was drawing up a code of ethics to prevent human abuse of robots-and vice versa.

The so-called Robot Ethics Charter will cover standards for robotics users and manufacturers, as well as guidelines on ethical standards to be programmed into robots, according to South Korea's Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy Perhaps there is a need for all this as the country's Ministry of Information and Communication is working on plans to put a robot in every South Korean household by 2020. The new charter is part of an effort to establish ground rules for human interaction with robots in the future.

All of this naturally follows the news last week that at least one researcher is predicting that humans will be marrying robots by the year 2050 because of dramatic advances in the machines.

Where's Yul Brynner when you need him?!

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