It was only a matter of time before robots got introduced to royalty, or at least the leaders of our biggest countries. Tiro, a service robot, has been employed at the Blue House (or presidential residence) in South Korea, where it will greet visitors. It will also act as a tour guide and show them around important locations, explaining the culture and heritage behind each place. As Seoul alone has almost seven million visitors each month, Tiro has had to learn Japanese, Chinese, and English along with Korean to cover most of the language-barriers. So although it only possesses basic functions, it shows that robots are moving up places in society where they are even accepted at the highest offices.
Visitors will also find more robots at the second floor of the Blue House. “Genibos”, or robotic dogs will provide a lot of amusement for kids, while “Metal Fighters” will wow guests with their dancing and performing skills. It almost sounds like a robotic playground, one where most of the bots owe their creation to MiniRobot.
While to some it may seem weird to have such a robot-heavy staff at a presidential residence, especially considering we probably won’t see something like this at the White House for some time, it makes sense from South Korea’s standpoint. They have been trying to establish themselves as the dominant market and force behind the latest in robotics for some time now, even more so than Japan, so they want to use every opportunity to advertise their creations. In many places the robot is still seen as a prospect of the future, but in South Korea it has pretty much become a cultural symbol.
The video is in Korean, but it gives a short glimpse of Tiro and the Genibos dogs greeting the visitors.