A: We have professors, researchers from research institutes, industry people. We also have some companies as members; we have over 700 members right now.
Q: So as a society what do you do
A: As a society we have one project. Our project is the technical trend market analysis of network-based robots and humanoid robots for KIST. We have been carrying out that project for the last three years. That's part of the research and standardization of service robots.
Also we publish a quarterly magazine and journal. Also we organize a domestic conference and international conference.
In the summer a domestic conference, and in the fall an international conference. The name of the domestic conference is Intelligent Robot Systems. The name of the international conference is Ubiquitous and Ambient Intelligent Robot Systems. Also our society sponsors an international robot conference. This summer we sponsored two international conferences, ITP Roman and ICAR. Our members were involved in those conferences. This society is young, but very active.
Q: Are you participating in Robot World 2007
A: No, not this year. Last year's Robot World we were involved in it, but this time, no.
Q: What are some other things that your Society participates in
A: Also we have meetings with other Asian robotics societies. Last year in Beijing we had a meeting; the name is the Asian Robotics Summit Meeting. People from Japan, China, and Korea. At the time I was vice president, so we met there and discussed cooperation between the three countries. This year we will meet in San Diego, but the conference will be IROS. IROS is the Intelligent Robots and Systems conference.
Each member also has their own projects.
Q: Do you cooperate with other robotics societies domestically or internationally
A: There is no other robotics society in Korea, this is the only one. In Japan there is the Robotics Society Japan, and in the United States there is the IEEE Robotics Automation Society. IEEE is an internationally one of the biggest societies.
These two societies are the major robotics societies in the world.
We signed a memorandum with Robotics Society Japan, so last year at our annual conference the president of Robot Society Japan came to the conference and we discussed future collaboration between our societies. As a result we met them at Beijing. There we discussed the future of an Asian Robotics Society.
As you know, Japan is one of the leading countries as far as robotics is concerned. So Japan's robotics society initiates some of the cooperation between Asian robotics communities. So that is the main issue. This year people from Australia, Thailand and Taiwan will join this year's meeting.
Q: Specifically, what is your field of research
A: My current interests in such areas are sensor-based planning and control. Also I am interested in human-robot interaction. As an application I'm carrying out research in a rehabilitation robot system for the disabled. It's some sensorbased human-robot interaction.
Q: What do you think about the robot industry in Korea
A: The robot industry market will grow, definitely. But you might know now there is no killer application area in robots right now, so the major market is cleaning robots, and some entertainment robots, and so on. That market is not big I think. To find some of the very important application area is quite important.
The big technical problems are the intelligence issue, and some of the human-robot interactions, and some the smooth locomotion technique.
Q: It seems like robot technologies are not quite there, but if they were on the level of a simple animal it would be more useful. What do you think
A: Think about the real applications. Someone can make an animal-like robot, but why Just a hobby Robots should be made under a given task. We call this task-oriented design. The target is quite important. I think the future robotics market will be military or rehabilitation or assistive robots.
Q: Can you give some examples
A: Rehabilitation robots are mainly for the elderly, senior citizens, and disabled persons. In our department we have a research center for rehabilitation. We have developed an intelligent bed system and an intelligent wheelchair, and a transportation system between the intelligent bed and the wheelchair. Also there is some gesture recognition software. Also our team has developed assistive mobile system for the disabled in a real work environment.