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Expo 2012 Yeosu Korea: Robotics Pavilion (preview)

This 6.5 meter (21 ft) tall robot statue (dubbed “Navi”) is being built for the Marine Robot Pavilion of Expo 2012 (the largest pavilion of the entire expo).  The expo’s theme is “The Living Ocean and Coast”, which explains the unique focus on marine robotics.  Weighing around a ton, the statue was planned by the Korea Institute of Industrial Technology Evaluation and Planning with an animatronics company.  Workers constructing it reach only knee-high.

A total of 73 robots will be shown at Expo 2012, half of which are from Virginia Tech’s Robotics and Mechanisms Laboratory (RoMeLa).  In fact, the lab’s director Dr. Dennis Hong has been flying once or twice a month to complete the set-up!  Visitors will be able to take photos with a pair of the lab’s full-size CHARLI-2s that will be walking around and interacting with the audience.  And an entire wing of the pavilion is dedicated to soccer-playing robots, specifically RoMeLa’s DARwIn series of humanoids.  Other robots from Britain and France will also be showcased.

As visitors exit the pavilion they’ll get a glimpse of what robots may be like in the year 2040.  Echoing the misguided futurism exhibits from yesteryear, conceptual underwater robots will demonstrate how technology will be used in the deep sea, including a mechanical squid that uses its tentacles to search for minerals and a starfish robot that collects energy on its tips.

The pavilion will officially open May 12th, with a special media day scheduled for May 5th.  More photos of the pavilion, including some behind-the-scenes construction shots from Virginia Tech’s Dr. Dennis Hong, follow after the break.

[source: ET News (KR)]

Pavilion Entrance


Entering the Robot World
The design of Zone 1 is inspired by large scale plastic model parts which challenge the visitors to imagine what the completed robots would look like.


2. Robot Warehouse
A high-end storage facility for robots to showcase the wonders of current robotics technology.  Will include static displays of RoMeLa’s STriDER, HyDRAS, MARS, CELInA, and CHARLI-H.

3. Robot Soccer
This exhibition presents an autonomous soccer game played by 10 DARwIn-OP robots and provides an opportunity for visitors to see the evolution of the DARwIn series of robots.

4. Robot Lab
Robot Lab is a mock-up of RoMeLa’s lab which shows how robots are developed there. Various demonstrations and activities in which the visitors may participate are presented on the stage.


5. Deep Sea
This space provides an educational exhibition on the deep sea, an opportunity to understand the background of the birth of the 5 marine robots, various video images, models, and robot performance in which the robots and the lighting are joined together.

Expo 2012 Yeosu Korea will run from May 12th to August 12th, 2012.

[source: Expo 2012 site (KR)]


Image credit:
Many thanks to Dr. Dennis Hong (Virginia Tech RoMeLa)