A new guide robot tentatively titled “Fantasia Robot” will take up residence in the lobby of South Korea’s Buncheon City Hall beginning December 15th 2010. The robot can tell you about the building’s departments and guide you to the elevators. Its touch screen will display the latest promotional videos, and can be used to make appointments or validate your parking with a printed ticket.
The robot stands 120cm (4′) tall, weighs 80kg (176 lbs), moves at up to 50cm per second, and can operate for 8 hours straight. A number of ultrasonic sensors and a laser range finder help it detect obstacles. It was developed by Nautilus Hyosung, the IT division of Hyosung for around 30M KRW ($26,000 USD). It’s one of 15 projects partly funded by the Ministry of Knowledge Economy as part of a pilot program to develop cutting edge robotics technologies. It looks sleek enough, but one may be forgiven for wondering just how many guide robots South Korea really needs (even with the two robot theme parks under construction)!