After more than ten years, South Korea has continuously promoted machines to target South Korea smart cities. It has achieved remarkable results in the field of industrial robots and has gradually moved towards commercialization in the field of service robots. Industrial intelligence that enhances industrial competitiveness extends to the realization of the vision of coexisting humans and robots to intelligent life.
Have you had the opportunity to travel or travel to Korea in the past two years? When entering the second terminal of Incheon International Airport, have you ever noticed the navigation robots serving passengers in the airport? This "AIRSTAR" service robot supports four languages: Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and English. Just touch the display on its face to start a conversation with it. If you get lost in the airport, you can also ask it to lead the way; After inserting the ticket into its scanner, you can get the flight information and lead it to the corresponding boarding gate. This kind of service robot is a convenient experience to integrate into life!
South Korea industrial robot industry continues to flourish. According to the latest statistics from the International Federation of Robotics (IFR), South Korea industrial robot shipments reached 39,700 units in 2017, ranking third in the world and the country with the highest density of industrial robots in the world; South Korea’s manufacturing industry has 710 robots for every 10,000 employees, which is more than 8 times the global average. In South Korea’s automobile manufacturing industry, there are 2,435 robots per 10,000 employees. The main reason is that Korea automakers have adopted a large number of robot collaborations in the manufacture of hybrid and electric vehicle batteries.
Industrial development drives South Korea robot output value
The opportunity for the rise of the Korea robot industry lies in the rapid development of the IT industry in the mid to late 2000s, which prompted the Korea government to invest in large-scale and systematic robot application research and development support. South Korea has included smart robots in the "Top Ten Future Growth Power Industries" in 2003. To establish a consistent national-level robot industry development system, the "Smart Robot Development, and Popularization Promotion Act" was announced in March 2008. According to this law, a "Basic Robot Industry Plan" is formulated every five years. Based on this basic plan, relevant ministries and committees formulate annual detailed implementation plans, from R&D, demonstration to popularization, etc., to systematize Ways to promote the incubation policy of the robot industry.
In the past ten years, the South Korea government has invested about 600 billion won (about 17 billion NT dollars) or more to provide support for the research and development of technologies related to the robotics industry. The first phase of the Robot Industry Basic Plan (2009~2013) and second Korea robot industry’s development in the “Basic Plan for the Robot Industry (2014~2018)” has continued to boost the output value of Korea robots, and with the help of major industries such as South Korea’s automobile, electrical and electronics, and the continuous improvement of robot applications, South Korea has now ranked among the top five in the world A strong country in the manufacture of industrial robots, its comprehensive robot technology competitiveness is second only to Japan, the United States, and Europe, ranking fourth in the world.
According to the "2017 South Korea Robot Industry Survey Report", the output value of the Korea robot industry in 2017 was approximately NT$135.4 billion, an increase of 11.6% from 2016. The largest case was industrial robots, which was approximately NT$81.8 billion. Accounting for about 60%, followed by robot components, about NT$37.1 billion, accounting for about 27.4%. As for service robots, which are still in the initial stage of commercialization, the output value of personal and household service robots is about NT$9.7 billion, about Accounting for 7.2%, the output value of professional service robots is approximately NT$6.8 billion, accounting for only 5%. Also, although the number of Korea robot industry-related entrepreneurs reached 2,191, small and medium-sized enterprises accounted for 97.0%, reaching 2,126. Among them, sales of less than 5 billion won, accounting for 96% of the total, are difficult to ensure competitiveness. Although the Korea robot industry is growing under the leadership of large companies in the fields of automobiles, electrical and electronics, this industrial structure dominated by industrial robots and large companies may have increasingly rigid doubts.
People-oriented Industry 4.0 realizes a smart life coexisting with robots
To grasp the industry development trends in the Industry 4.0 era, the President of South Korea established the 4th Industrial Revolution Committee directly under the President after taking office in May 2017 to promote integrated national-level Industry 4.0 response measures, that is, "people-oriented innovation and growth. The 4th Industrial Revolution Response Plan (I-KOREA 4.0 for short)” hopes to use Industry 4.0 to solve the socio-economic structural problems faced by South Korea and realize the people-oriented fourth industrial revolution with all people participating and sharing.
Therefore, South Korea will focus on investing in the core technology of Industry 4.0 to cultivate high-value future new industries and new applications, including the promotion of smart robots, smart factories, smart cities, etc. It is expected to increase productivity by promoting smart industry innovation to ensure global competitiveness. At present, the Korea government's policies related to the smart robot industry include the "Smart Robot Industry Development Strategy", the "Robot Product Market Expansion Support Plan for Realizing Smart Life" and the "Robot Industry Development Plan".
The development strategy of the smart robot industry (2018~2022) is based on the fact that manufacturing powers such as the United States, Japan, and Germany all regard robots as an important production factor to enhance the competitiveness of the manufacturing industry, continue to expand investment in the field of smart robots, and South Korea is facing an aging population The demand for personally customized services is increasing, and the demand for service robots to improve the quality of life such as health care and safety is also becoming.
To ensure the competitiveness of Korea small and medium-sized manufacturers and strengthen the innovation capabilities of the robot industry, the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy of Korea announced in February 2018 the "Smart Robot Industry Development Strategy" (2018-2022), which will focus on small and medium-sized manufacturing industries. Target, popularize collaborative robots, and support the productivity improvement of small and medium-sized manufacturing industries through the use of robots, to ensure the competitiveness of small and medium-sized manufacturers and strengthen the innovation capabilities of the robot industry, increase the proportion of core components localized, and expand the market scale of the robot industry. Increase employment opportunities.
The promotion vision of South Korea "Smart Robot Industry Development Strategy" is to "realize the smart Republic of Korea where humans and robots coexist", which is mainly divided into the following four major promotion topics:
- Promote robot pilot projects
To systematically implement the robot pilot program and promote the expansion and popularization of smart collaborative robots that enhance the productivity of the manufacturing industry, in February 2018, South Korea established a collaboration involving 25 institutions including industry, academia, research experts, and demand units. In the future, the Robot Alliance will cooperate with industry-specific characteristics to develop localized technologies for collaborative robots and related components and software. To promote the introduction of robot applications by small and medium-sized enterprises, it is estimated that by 2022, 20,000 smart factories will be built and popularized.
To expand the development of emerging service robots, it will promote the commercialization of service robots in five potential fields such as smart homes with strong growth momentum, medical treatment and rehabilitation, disasters and safety, logistics and transportation, and agriculture, including through cooperation with large hospitals, Post offices, fire departments, power plants, logistics warehouses, farms, and other major demand units jointly develop and introduce demonstrations, provide test platforms, and formally promote related applications based on field verification and demonstration results.
- Strengthen the innovation capability of the robot industry
At present, the key components of Korea industrial robots, as well as high-precision semiconductor and display industrial robots, still rely mainly on imports. Therefore, to ensure the competitiveness of core components of robots, South Korea will develop mid- to long-term development strategies for robot components such as drive, remote sensing, and control, and expand the proportion of R&D support by the priority order. At the same time, it will set up a robot integrated component support center, three "Robot Reliability Demonstration Centers", including the Component Reliability Research Center and the Mechanical Reliability Research Center, ensure the reliability of the three core components. On the other hand, by promoting the AI platform for robots that are jointly developed by industry, government, and academia, the development and promotion of collaborative robot application software, and the development of "CNC controlled machinery standard models" for cutting and processing in small and medium manufacturing industries, and smart factories and Link public demand and promote promotion practices.
In terms of strengthening regional innovation capabilities, the main considerations are regional manufacturers and specialized fields, and robot research and support organizations are grouped to establish operating agreement organizations based on three characteristics. For example, the capital area focuses on robot components and the Hunan area focuses on medical treatment and rehabilitation. Machines are the main focus, while the Gyeongnam area is mainly robot integration. On the other hand, focusing on regional key universities such as Seoul University of Science and Technology, Pusan National University, etc., expand professional personnel training courses, and promote practical personnel training programs for regional robotics companies that support incumbents and unemployed persons.
- Opening up new markets and establishing a growth support system
In terms of preparing the system required for market expansion and strengthening the infrastructure, it is mainly through extending the sunset period of the "Smart Robot Development and Popularization Promotion Act" from 2018 to 2028 to create a systematic and sustainable development environment, and Actively explore and improve methods that hinder the spread of robots
Regulations, support robot companies to participate in major exhibitions such as Japan’s IREX, Germany’s AUTOMATICA, market expansion groups, etc., and provide market analysis and build a robot business map needed to connect to the network to help the industry expand domestic and overseas markets.
In terms of establishing the full-process support system required for the growth of robot startups, it will mainly support the technical enterprise consulting projects of robot startups, new product development consulting, market-entry, etc., and promote the production of robot samples that have been designed A one-stop support program for equipment, production professional personnel education, testing, and certification, etc., will also provide investment funding support through the performance guarantee of the robot industry.
- Improve society's awareness of robots
To increase the public’s acceptance of robots, expand robot experience opportunities, and advocacy work, South Korea is also actively promoting the exposure of robots in important sports events. For example, in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in February 2018, robots participated in the delivery of the torch. The world’s first robotic skiing conference was held. In the Winter Olympics arena and the athlete’s village, 11 types and 85 robots including navigation and cleaning robots were also invested. South Korea also organizes international robot competitions and robot fusion technology conferences and other competitions to promote guided tours and experience activities such as unmanned transportation and cleaning robots in large facilities such as airports and logistics centers to discover outstanding talents and increase public interest in robots.
Robot product market expansion support program to realize smart life South Korea has promoted the promotion of new robot products since 2011. Except for industrial robots, cleaning, and educational robots, most areas rely on the government's robot popularization plan, private investment incentives, and research the industrialization of the results has limited results. Inadequate cost performance of robot products, weak corporate investment funds, lack of empirical evidence, and technical trading opportunities have become a stumbling block to popularization. Therefore, the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy of Korea submitted to the Fourth Industrial Revolution Committee of South Korea in December 2018 the "Support Plan for Robot Product Market Expansion for Realizing Smart Life", which will nurture the robotics industry as a pioneer in the fourth industrial revolution. The development vision of expanding from a smart industry to smart life.
The above-mentioned robot product market expansion support plan is mainly divided into three promotion strategies:
- Support the industrialization of robot products and strengthen the demand base:
In terms of promoting the entry of robot products into the market, South Korea will select three local governments to import 1,150 service robots within two years through a demonstration plan, which will formally spread across the country after 2020. At the same time, it will be linked to the demonstration project of care and rehabilitation robots and will cooperate with relevant ministries to develop robot technology for new growth industries, including the development of agricultural robots that can perform seeding and harvesting operations, and underwater robots that can sense water temperature and confirm environmental changes. , Autopilot mail delivery robot system, detachable robot system for cleaning solar panels, collaborative robots for smart factories, etc., and will support the technical development of safety and military robots that are difficult for humans to perform. And the Korea Army will cooperate in 2018 The "UAV Unit" created in October is linked to promoting the development and popularization of robots. In terms of strengthening the demand base for industrialization through financial support, we mainly use the promotion of "New Growth Momentum Fund Recovery Fund" and other programs to raise 20 billion won in the robot industry incubation fund; at the same time, it provides excellent robot companies as targets and provides guarantee ratio discounts. Financial incentives such as reduction of loan interest rates to strengthen and expand the financial system network, promote the development of financing products required by robots’ R&D, industrialization, and equipment investment, and relax the barriers for robots with weak funds to enter the market and support equipment construction The investment resources needed to purchase.
- Support the development of technology to connect the market:
To give priority to support technology development projects to improve the quality of life, and to support the development of potential service robots, South Korea promotes inter-ministerial robot development plans. The Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Energy develops robot products, and the Ministry of Health and Welfare supports clinical and industrialization. And formulate licensing standards. In terms of caring robots that assist the disadvantaged in society, the main development will include popular food assistance robots that can be introduced from hospitals and nursing homes, and bed-type bedsore prevention robots that can sense pressure and operate autonomously without the operation of medical personnel. There are also shared defecation support robots that can add automatic cleaning and disinfection functions, and two-arm assist robots that can safely pick up patients when the patient's posture changes.
In the development of social robots that support dementia patients and children with autism, the main focus will be on the development of conversational robots that can recognize the emotions, voices, and interactions of patients with cognitive impairment and dementia, and provide diagnosis and improvement for patients with autism. Autistic child-friendly robot systems such as social learning projects. In terms of promoting service robots with a high possibility of industrialization, it will develop promising service robot products and common technologies such as logistics, housework support, and surgery.
- To lay the foundation for market creation:
The South Korea government will create a market by improving its rules and regulations, and build the growing infrastructure of robot companies by designating specialized companies, holding expert forums, and cultivating talents. Regarding the deregulation, with the passage of relevant laws and regulations on the supervision of sandboxes, South Korea will also formulate detailed benchmarks for special regulations on robot products in the second half of 2019, strengthen the functions of the Robot Industry Policy Council, and establish a Robot Ethics Advisory Committee. At the same time, Busan, a demonstration city of smart cities, is used as a testing base for robot products.
South Korea will set up a robot "Regulations Resolution Center" under the Robot Industry Promotion Agency and the Robot Industry Association to discover industry trends and regulatory obstacles through the robot industry fact-finding, and establish an online regulatory news database on the websites of relevant agencies to provide Customized control improvement services such as regulatory consultation. On the other hand, Korea has also established robot technology development and demonstration and enterprise support bases based on geographical differences and field types, including a robot certification center (Daegu), a manufacturing robot technology center (Gyeongsangnam-do), and a health robot demonstration center (Gwangju) and so on.
In terms of cultivating specialized companies, South Korea will evaluate technological innovation capabilities, financial capabilities, and growth possibilities in the next five years. 20 companies will be selected each year. Each company will invest up to 1 billion won to provide research and development, standardization, certification, and real. The goal is to cultivate 100 robot companies. In terms of cultivating talents, it will cultivate specialized personnel at the master and doctoral level of robot companies on-site, and support practical training courses for incumbents and candidates for employment.
Robot Industry Development Plan
The Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy of Korea issued the "Robot Industry Development Plan" in March 2019, which will support the robot industry as the core industry of Industry 4.0, and promote the "Popularization of Industrial Robots in the Three Major Manufacturing Industries" and "Focusing on the Four Major Industries" The three major policy issues in the field of “service-oriented robots” and “strengthening the robotics industry ecosystem” are to achieve the goal of becoming one of the world’s top four powers in the robotics industry, and to grow the Korea robotics industry market to 15 trillion won in 2023; sales 1,000 There are 20 robot companies with a value of more than 100 million won; the popularization of industrial robots reaches 700,000 units, and it assists in the structural upgrading of the infrastructure industry, textile and food, and beverage industries, and strengthens the competitiveness of the service robot industry.
The three major policy issues of this plan are hereby explained as follows:
- The popularization of industrial robots in the three major manufacturing industries:
Although the use density of Korea industrial robots ranks first in the world, they are mainly used in the fields of automobiles and electrical and electronics. However, the three major industries such as root industries, textiles, and food and beverage industries have generally harsh working environments and lack of labor. At present, the use of robots is still not common. Therefore, the Korea government has decided to focus on the three major manufacturing industries and focus on promoting the use of industrial robots. First, it will provide 7,560 robots and implement a rental service system to encourage the general industry to voluntarily adopt robots.
- Focus on fostering four major service robot areas:
Since it is optimistic about the development potential and profit of the service robot market, the Korea government will actively support the support of the four major service robot fields, including care, medical care, logistics, and wearable robots. Starting from 2020, it will invest 300 billion won to promote research and development plans to improve related fields The technology reaches the level of advanced countries, and in the first half of 2019, under the Korea Robot Industry Promotion Agency, a "Regulation Resolution Center" will be established to improve the completion of the robot regulation supervision sandbox (sandbox) and assist in solving obstacles in service Regulatory issues for the application of type robots.
- Strengthen the robot industry ecosystem:
The South Korean government will promote an independent supply plan for core components and software of industrial robots to establish a sound robot industry ecosystem, match robot manufacturers and demand organizations, and cultivate systems integration companies in the robot field to reduce dependence on the United States and Japan import.
Also, the South Korea government will invest about 100 billion won in seven years from 2020 to ensure the three core components of an intelligent control system, self-driving sensor and intelligent gripper required by the new generation of robots, as well as processing The four software technologies of the robot software platform for image information, capture technology, image information processing, and human-machine interaction software; at the same time, the "Robot Convergence Alliance" will be established to cooperate closely with manufacturers in machine tools, artificial intelligence, and other related fields to In response to the industry and technology integration trend in the Industry 4.0 era.
Overview of the development of Korea robot companies
In terms of industrial robots, the average annual growth rate of the Korea industrial robot industry in the past five years is about 10%. In 2017, the sales scale of Korean industrial robots was about 3 trillion won (about NT$81.3 billion), second only to China, The United States, Germany, and Japan ranked fifth in the world, with a market share of about 7%. At present, there are 718 industrial robot companies in South Korea, only two have sales of more than 200 billion won, and only about seven have sales of more than 50 billion won. Among them, Hyundai, which has large-scale demand sources such as automobiles, home appliances, and semiconductors, respectively Robotics, Robostar, Koh Young Technology, etc. dominate the Korea domestic market field. Recently, Hanwha Precision Machinery, Neuromeka, Doosan Robotics, and other latecomers have successively launched collaborative robots, becoming the new blood wheel of the Korean industrial robot market. In terms of service robots, the average annual growth rate of the Korea service robot industry in the past five years is about 9%.
South Korea robotics companies’ sales volume is about 607.3 billion won, mainly cleaning robots, followed by logistics robots, medical robots, etc., with an export value of about 100 billion won, of which cleaning robots account for 60%, reaching 62.8 billion won. The import value is about 40 billion won, mainly for medical robots, reaching 30.3 billion won, accounting for about 77%. At present, there are 472 service robot companies in South Korea. Among them, LG Electronics and Samsung Electronics are the only two large companies with sales exceeding 50 billion won. There are about 17 other backbone companies, and there are 467 small and medium-sized enterprises, accounting for 99% of the total.
Korean service robots are dominated by medium and large companies and are now conducting research and development and experiments on service robots such as smart homes (LG Electronics), self-driving robots (Naver), wearable robots (Samsung Electronics, Hyundai Motor). In March 2018, Meere company launched Korea's first commercialization of laparoscopic surgical robots, marking a new milestone for the development of Korea medical robots. With the support of the government, South Korean small and medium-sized and venture capital companies are currently promoting the commercialization of educational robots and cleaning robots, and entering the collaborative robot and social robot market.
In terms of robot parts and components, the average annual growth rate of the Korea robot parts industry in the past five years was 29.3%. In 2017, the sales volume was approximately 1.4 trillion won to drive (387.1 billion won), structure (213 billion won), and sensing Mainly in five areas: (208 billion won), control (160 billion won), and software (120.3 billion won). The localization ratio of components is about 41%. Due to insufficient application cases in the domestic market, the expansion of foreign markets is restricted.
There are currently more than 1,000 robot component companies in Korea. Only Panasonic Korea has sales of over 50 billion won. There are about 12 backbone enterprises, and the rest are small and medium-sized enterprises. However, in recent years, mechanical component manufacturers including SBB Tech (reducer), Samik THK (motor), and Haixing TPC (reducer) have entered the market one after another, which has also led to an increasing trend of the Korea robot component industry. In particular, Ajinextek successfully launched Korea’s first domestic motion control chip, which enabled Korea to maintain its control in the field of control components maintain better competitiveness.
Take South Korea Smart City as a Mirror, Make Good Use of New Technology to Reduce Social Problems
In January 2018, the South Korea government selected Busan as a national smart city demonstration base focused on promoting new industries related to robotics and water resources management. In the future, it will introduce wearable robots, parking robots, logistics distribution robots or medical robot rehabilitation centers, etc. Citizens experience a variety of robot services in their daily lives to cope with urban problems such as Busan’s rapid aging or decreasing employment opportunities and will promote smart water purification plant demonstration projects to create a more efficient and safer city for citizens.
In the future, South Korea will set up an integrated robot control center and a robot support center in Busan to provide robot infrastructure and testing platforms to support the free development and industrialization of enterprises and to promote the integration of robots into citizens’ daily lives, including childcare, education, and medical care. It also provides home-use AI secretary robots, delivery robots, rebuilding robots, etc., to create Busan's overall life in synchronization with robots and become a world-class robot city.
After more than ten years, South Korea has continuously promoted machines to use South Korea smart cities as a mirror to make good use of new technologies to reduce social problems. Industrial innovation, research and development, and demonstration applications. It has achieved significant results in the field of industrial robots and is gradually moving towards commercialization in the field of service robots. With South Korea leading the world in launching commercial 5G services for the first time in April 2019, the introduction of smart service robot applications in public facilities is also expected to become more diversified and popular.
It can be seen from the process of South Korea’s promotion of the robotics industry that national-level regulations, systematic and stable promotion strategies, demonstration projects, and the introduction of demonstration fields can be said to have laid the foundation for the development of its robotics industry. The key factor is that in response to the advent of the Industry 4.0 era, South Korea thinking in promoting the robotics industry has also expanded from the perspective of industrial intelligence to enhance industrial competitiveness.
It extends to the realization of the vision of humans and robots coexisting to intelligent life. This use of emerging technologies and solving existing social problems, thereby improving the quality of people's lives, and connecting with the future growth momentum.