In 2009, we heard that South Korea was working on some sort of massive robot theme park that was scheduled to open in 2012. And then, we kind of didn't hear anything for a very, very, very long time. Now that it's 2014, Robot Land is back in the news and apparently actually really seriously no kidding getting built. Yay!
After years bogged down in environmental reviews (there's a stream that probably had some sort of endangered microbe in it on the build site), Masan Robot Land officially broke ground right about here in December of last year. The first phase of construction will include a robot research and development center, a convention center, a robot exhibition hall, and (most importantly) robot theme parks.
This is all supposed to be finished by September 2016 (with the theme park opening first, in January of 2015), which seems optimistic based on how this project has gone so far. But, 700 billion won (over US $660 million) has been promised, and 89 percent of the required land (300 acres) has been purchased, so things are definitely happening now. And once phase one is complete, phase two will add a bunch of hotels and condos and stuff, to open in 2018.
While we're totally and completely in favor of a Robot Land just on principle, details on what'll actually make up the place seem to be a bit sparse. Early concept images seem to show a Ferris wheel, a monorail, at least one roller coaster, a giant robot statue, and some sort of glass pyramid thing that shoots lasers. All of these things are awesome, and we can only hope that the actual Robot Land lives up to these pictures, but one thing is for sure: when this place opens, IEEE Spectrumwill be sending a reporter to check it out in person.
Via [ Robohub ]
Evan Ackerman is a senior editor at IEEE Spectrum. Since 2007, he has written over 6,000 articles on robotics and technology. He has a degree in Martian geology and is excellent at playing bagpipes.