The South Korean government on Monday announced that it will join forces with Samsung Electronics Co. to develop precision manufacturing robots that could benefit the local manufacturing sector.
The plan calls for 16.75 billion won ($14.8 million) worth of taxpayers' money to be invested in the next three years to develop key components that can allow more robotic parts to be made in the country and lower overall prices of industrial machines, said the trade, industry and energy ministry.
Developed robots can be used to make small products like mobile phones and consumer electronic products that require a high degree of precision, it said, adding that all technology developed will be used to assist small and medium-sized robotics companies, Yonhap News Agency reported.
"Emphasis will be placed on developing precision speed reducers, motors, controllers and sensor encoders that are currently expensive and imported from abroad," the ministry said, adding that "development of these parts should be completed by late 2018".
Robots are widely used to make cars, semiconductors, computer chips and displays, with their use being expanded into areas like plastic, chemicals, food and metal goods.
The ministry said Samsung, one of the world's largest producers of memory chips, mobile phones and consumer electronics, will provide product specification, verify quality, offer consulting and give guidance to robot makers to get their products to market.
The global market stood at $10.7 billion last year, with annual growth having reached 22 percent in the past six years. International data predicted growth could reach an average of 18 percent annually up till 2018, with the use of robots in the manufacturing process accounting for 25 percent of the total by 2025, from around 10 percent at present.
In 2014, South Korea had the fourth largest robot market, with China in the top spot.