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South Korea’s $660 Million Robot Theme Park to Open in 2016

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Asia Life

South Korea’s $660 Million Robot Theme Park to Open in 2016

“Robot Land” will combine traditional rides with educational and research facilities.

If you happened to catch last year’s sci-fi blockbuster Pacific Rim, you might be able to grasp the idea of what a giant robot would look like. Of course, the monster-fighting Jaegers were made possible by Hollywood’s best digital effects – but a robot statue that will serve as the centerpiece of an upcoming South Korean theme park might become the closest real-world alternative.

Despite being incapable of rocket-punching bad guys, a 364-foot-tall Taekwon V – South Korea’s most famous giant robot hero, known as Voltar the Invincible in the U.S. – will beckon thrill-seekers and cyborg enthusiasts to Robot Land. After some lengthy delays, construction began on the $660 million entertainment complex last month.

“Since 2007, the South Korean government has dreamed of a robotics research park and themed destination with rides, exhibitions, shopping, and even housing,” wrote Gizmag. “Although the originally planned open date of 2012 has come and gone, ground was officially broken for the 300-acre park [in December] and a new timeline seems to indicate that Robot Land may now be on target to deliver on its promise of a themed world dedicated to robots.”

Government officials expect the first phase of construction to be completed in September 2016. In addition to traditional rides like roller coasters and Ferris wheels, Robot Land will offer a host of educational and industrial facilities – including a post-graduate robotics school, a Robotics Institute, and a research and development center.

“The majority of the planned offerings veer more towards edutainment, with an interactive robot aquarium, exhibition halls, and an auto factory that introduces visitors to a robotic automotive assembly line,” added Gizmag.

The 1.15 million square meter property will also house a water park, a convention center (which appears to be held up by four giant robots), and shopping malls.

A second phase, slated for completion in 2018, will add hotels and condominiums.

Robot Land will be situated in the Cheongna Free Economic Zone, located between Incheon International Airport (ICN) and the urban sprawl of Seoul. According to Robot Land’s website, 40 million travelers passed through ICN in 2011 – with Beijing, Tokyo and Shanghai all short flights away.

South Korea’s technology-minded government hopes to put a robot in every household by 2020. The country has developed companion robots for the elderly and even a robotic prison guard.