RobotWorld Korea 2013: Getting Ready


I always try to put together an interview/shot-list before any major event that I am assigned to cover. It helps to make sure that I don't overlook anything interesting or important to the client, especially in the heat of the moment. Robot events like RobotWorld Korea can be particularly challenging since they expect approximately 80,000 visitors including the general public.

The official exhibitor list, as of October 19th, shows 84 distinct companies, including 5 coming from France. I'm sure that some of the larger companies will have multiple exhibits since many of them have multiple divisions in the robotics sector.

The overall classifications organised by pavilion are shown in the table above, along with the market sector and number of confirmed companies exhibiting. I suspect that the distribution represents a fairly accurate view of priorities within Korean robot manufacturers.

The one sector that really stands out, at least in terms of the number of companies, is education. From the perspective of the Korean focus on the importance of education, and the parent's intense commitment to making sure that their children have the best education possible, it makes a lot of sense.

Keep in mind that these numbers only represent companies and do not include colleges, universities, technical high schools, non-profits, and some research and development facilities. Those organisations are expected to also have a presence at the event.

As a point of reference, South Korea's population is roughly 50 million, compared to a U.S. population of 314 million. If a country with only 16% of the U.S. population draws huge crowds to a robot event like this, and has an obvious commitment to STEM education, what does that tell us about competitiveness, and what can we expect in the future as students graduate into the workforce?


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