There is a Disneyland Park and a Universal Studio in US but there is no robot theme park anywhere in the world. In this present, Incheon city is knocking on its project for establishing Incheon Robot Land.
Under the theme ‘Fun & Fantasy with Robots,' Incheon Robot Land, the world's first robot theme park, will be established as a global attraction that will welcome more than 2.8 million visitors per year. In an interview with Korea IT Times, Incheon Robot Land CEO Jun Eu-gene delivered his plans as follows,
Q: Could you explain to us the plans you have for Incheon Robot Land
A: Incheon Free Economic Zone (IFEZ) is made up of Songdo, Yeongjong, and Cheongna districts and Incheon Robot Land is going to be built in Cheongna. The Free Economic Zone was designed to attract foreign investment, providing tax benefits including income tax, corporate tax, and tariffs, for foreign investors.
In addition, IFEZ is the best place for research and development as well as the production and sales of robots for a number of reasons: a) robot-related technologies will be developed by the R&D centers which will be established at Incheon Robot Land, SNU (BT) and KAIST (IT) research complex, which will be built nearby, and Incheon High-tech Park (IHP); b) seven major industrial complexes within Incheon and those in the metropolitan area including Ansan and Bucheon will be utilized for robot production; c) IFEZ is located in the metropolitan area, which is the largest market in South Korea; and d) this region includes an international airport and harbor, which facilitates access to foreign markets.
Q: Why don't you tell us about the various facility themes the for Robot Land Tour
A: Under the theme ‘Fun & Fantasy with Robots,' Incheon Robot Land, the first robot theme park in the world, will be established as a global attraction that will welcome more than 2.8 million visitors per year.
For it, we have developed the concept design and master plan in collaboration with the world-renowned theme park design firm, Landmark Entertainment Group, hired through an open bid. Currently, the basic design process is being undertaken by PICO North Asia, the Korean branch of PICO Group, listed on Hong Kong's stock exchange, and PICO USA.
We are planning on twenty two attractions, to which various contents from within and outside South Korea will be applied, in particular, regarding Asian based contents such as Robot Taekwon V Tower and Space Sonogong will be developed into such programs. There are also many other robot-related contents in our plan, and we are doing our utmost so that Incheon has every opportunity to become a familiar city like Orlando in the U.S, to people across the globe by establishing a world class robot land.
Q: What merits are there to attract the state-of-art research institutes and R&D centers from universities and corporations
A: The Incheon Robot Land project can be largely divided into three sectors: theme park, robot promotion facility, and commercial/management facility. The robot promotion facility comprises of a robot business center, R&D center, and a robot graduate school for the relevant industry, academy, and research institutes.
The facility will act as an ideal marketing platform where the technology or product developed by the research institutes is commercialized by robot companies, and later exhibited and sold in Robot land.
Q: Tell us about the development concept regarding additional facilities of the Robot Land.
A: Incheon Robot Land is focused on, more than anything else, the development of contents and programs, creativity, and customer-oriented service. Therefore, you can assume it is more about the software than hardware.
For that reason, the contents which represent the main characteristics of Incheon Robot Land can be categorized into three: ubiquitous theme park including high-tech management system, experience theme park including robot games, robot playground, and robot art museum, and industry-related theme park which will be a state-of-art robot research institute and R&D center of universities and corporations.
Also, for the convenience of visitors and businesses, we are planning to create themed commercial facilities and business districts nearby. The theme commercial facilities will be based on a unique concept using robots to offer a special experience to visitors and residents of the neighborhood.
Q: How much progress have you made so far before the opening of Robot Land in 2014
A: Since the establishment of the Incheon Robot Land Company Limited in July 2009, construction plans, which have been submitted to Ministry of Knowledge Economy in April of this year, have progressed one significant step at a time.
Regarding the theme park in particular, the fundamental design process is currently in progress and is expected to be completed within this year. We are planning to develop and finalize the details on various attractions based on this design.
The construction will begin during the first half of 2011 and be completed by December 2013, three months before the trial of operation and subsequently, the official launch in April 2014.
Q: What kind of effects are expected from Incheon Robot Land
A: Based on our estimation, we expect about 350 billion won per year in terms of the effect on production inducement and over 20,000 jobs will be created. The world's first robot theme park will help to promote the brand value of Incheon city and it will also support the city in leading the robot industry based on its linkage with the state-of-the-art industrial complex within Incheon Free Economic Zone.
In addition, Robot Land will become a stepping stone for South Korea to join the top three robot nations in the world, and contribute to the economy by providing a platform for fostering new high-tech industries and attracting foreign tourists.