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Details emerge from Busan Robot World 2009

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More than 60 South Korean and international research organizations and companies have flocked to Busan Robot World 2009.  230 booths have been set up to display the latest in manufacturing, service robots, networked robots, e-commerce, software and parts.  The event combines an expo, conference, and robot competitions, which in the past 3 years had taken place in COEX, Seoul.

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KIST (Korean Institute of Science & technology) brought out their wheeled mobile robot Mahru-M, which is a truncated version of their bipedal robot Mahru, and KAIST (Korean Advanced Institute of Science & Technology) brought along HUBO 2 for the opening ceremonies.

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Convex’s hammerhead shark robot

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Besides Convex’s robotic hammerhead shark (detailed earlier here), KITECH (Korean Institute of Industrial Technology) was showing off robotic fish of their own, which have a length of 44cm, swim for 4 hours per charge, and can dive to a depth of 100 meters.  The robots use GPS, sonar, and can swim into position to autonomously recharge via a contactless charging system.  KITECH suggests that with a camera mounted on board, the robot could be used as a surveillance system in dams, or around ports.  KITECH plans to further develop the robotic fish, which will communicate with a central system via robot buoys.

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KETI (Korean Electronics Technology Institute) is showing some robotics technology geared towards the elderly and disabled, including their service robot KEBO.

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Minirobot is showing off their new hobby humanoid robot kit called Metal Fighters (1). Yujin Robot is once again displaying their edutainment household robot iRobi Q (2), and Dasatech’s robotic pooch Genibo remains popular amongst the children (3).

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There are a total of 8 separate competitions covering 28 activities, including FIRA Cup Soccer and line-tracing races.  In the past two years, approximately $240,000 USD has been awarded as prize money to winning participants in the various events.  It is believed that competitions similar to the DARPA Grand Challenge are instrumental in mobilizing teams from around the world to invest in innovative robotics technology.

[source: Robot World 2009 (various)]

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