News & Event
News & Event
[The 157th KISTEP Wednesday Forum] Current Status and Future Directions of National Robotics Industry
- Writer KISTEP
KISTEP held the 157th KISTEP Wednesday Forum on May 10 under the theme of 'Current Status and Future Directions of National Robotics Industry'.
▲ Opening remarks by Byung-Seon Jeong, President of KISTEP
In the opening remarks, President Byung-Seon Jeong said, "The field of robot manufacturing and service has been designated as one of the national strategic technologies. It would be great to discuss here today how we can create robot ecosystems to become a leading country in the field."
▲ Presentation by Junseok Lee, Senior Researcher of Korea Evaluation Institute Of Industrial Technology (KEIT)
In the presentation, Dr. Junseok Lee gave an outline of current trends and issues in the robotics industry and suggested three policies to promote the industry in Korea.
He said that SMEs are overwhelmingly large in the composition of the industry in Korea. He also pointed out that while global trend is shifting towards service robots, Korea still primarily excels in the manufacturing robots.
"Considering low birth rates, aging population, and rapid growth of AI technology, it is important to establish the right policy directions." He suggested three policy recommendations to foster the growth of the robotics industry in Korea: △Nurturing SMEs △Promoting Robot-as-a-Service (RaaS) △Developing core and original technologies.
First, he proposed establishing an industrial background that can help the leading SMEs grow into strong enterprises. In particular, he called on the industry to narrow down the target market and focus on it.
Second, he emphasized the need to establish a user-centered 'Robot-as-a-Service' framework. Given the fact that demand for robots is increasing, but the unit price is still high, the RaaS market is considered promising. He highlighted the necessity for △proactive regulatory innovation △the establishment of a (service-centric) RaaS ecosystem △the efforts to secure technological capabilities to promote RaaS.
Third, he emphasized continuous development of core and original technologies such as hand technology, auton.omous driving technology, and AI integration technology to meet various evaluation criteria for robots including cost reduction, miniaturization, lightweight design, tactility, and freedom of movement.
In the panel discussion presided over by Moonjung Choi (Director General of the Office of National R&D Evaluation and Analysis, KISTEP), participants including Chanhoon Park (Director General of the AI Robot Research Division, KIMM), Hyunsub Park (Chief Strategy Officer of T-ROBOTICS) and Hyungpil Moon (Professor at the School of Mechanical Engineering, Sungkyunkwan University) had an in-depth discussion.
▲ Chanhoon Park, Director General of the AI Robot Research Division, KIMM
"The robotics market is fragmented," Dr. Chanhoon Park said. He pointed out that Korean SMEs are small in scale and highlighted the importance of securing technologies that meet market demand. He presented three technologies that Korea should secure; △Cost reduction △Versatility △Exclusive technologies for long-term investment, such as wearable robots. "Current R&D policies have ambiguous boundaries among industry, academia, and research institutes," he added. "Policy support should be strengthened to encourage businesses to carry out duplicative research, to motivate government-funded research institutes to conduct research centered on breakthrough technologies, to help academia set original technologies as their major research fields."
▲ Hyunsub Park, Chief Strategy Officer of T-ROBOTICS
"Robots are no longer just an industry but a pillar of national competitiveness," Dr. Hyunsub Park said. "It is crucial to create an environment where specialized researchers can receive support for sustainable research." He pointed out the absence of a supervisory role for managing robot research in Korea and said, "We need to accurately understand the unique characteristics of the industry and draw upon relevant examples from other advanced countries to develop suitable strategies for nurturing the industry in Korea."
▲ Hyungpil Moon, Professor at the School of Mechanical Engineering, Sungkyunkwan University
Professor Hyungpil Moon gave suggestions in terms of talent training. "Currently, there are several graduate programs focused on robotics, but the quantity and level of workforce are insufficient considering the diversity of the field. Work-oriented programs and Industry-University-Institute connected programs in new application areas should be established. Considering the problem of supply and demand of local graduate schools, wide-ranging policy support is needed to embrace high-quality foreign talent, not limited to Korean students. It is necessary to establish re-education programs to attract engineering talents to the robotics industry."