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South Korean Government Teams Up With Samsung In Developing High Precision Robots to Provide More Cost-Efficient Labor As Chinese Labor Cost Increases

by Therese Agcopra / Oct 20, 2015 07:38 AM EDT
Samsung's company headquarters in Seoul, South Korea. (Photo by Chung Sung Jun / Getty Images)

The South Korean government announced Monday that it will work together with tech giant Samsung Electronics Co. to develop precision manufacturing robots to open new opportunities for the country's manufacturing industry.

According to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, South Korean government is planning to use $14.8 million worth of taxpayers' money to invest in a three-year development plan to allow the production of robotic parts in the country and reduce overall cost of industrial machines, the Korea Herald writes Monday.

The ministry expects the project to be complete by 2018.

Samsung will spearhead the development of locally-made high-precision robots, which are expensive and often imported from aboard. The company will be in charge of product specification, quality verification and consultation.

More particularly, Samsung will manufacture precision speed reducers, controllers, motors and sensor encoders.

Wired UK reports on the same day that the robots will eventually be used to make small products such as mobile phones and other consumer electronic devices. The high level of precision required by this industry, which was only made possible by human hands, will soon be produced by robots.

"Once affordable robots reach the market and are more widely used, it can lead to the creation of 'smart factories' and bring about far-reaching innovations to the manufacturing sector," the ministry said.

Presently, companies, including Samsung, rely on Chinese labor to manufacture their products. But due to the increase in Chinese labor costs, the development of precision manufacturing robots has become a priority for companies. These robots are expected to be capable of doing the same kind of meticulous work human laborers do.

In 2014, South Korea ranked as the fourth largest market for robotics, with China on top of the list.  It is expected that the Northeast Asian market will continue to lead globally in terms of demand and production.

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