Korea plans to build two robot theme parks

Government hopes they can help boost the country's burgeoning robotics industry

The South Korean government Tuesday announced plans to help build two robot theme parks as part of an effort to boost its robotics industry.

The government estimates the cost of the two parks at 1.48 trillion won (AU$1.78 billion), and plans to contribute 50 billion won to the cost of each site. Construction is set to begin in 2009, and work is slated to be completed by 2013, according to a statement released on the South Korean government's Web site.

The theme parks will be built in Incheon, which is about 25 miles west of Seoul, and Masan, a port city on the country's southern coast.

"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 in the statement.

The ministry also pointed out that South Korea's 766 billion won robotics industry ranks sixth in the world and is considered a key growth industry. Robotics research and manufacturing efforts in Korea focus on service robots that clean homes and provide entertainment.

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