The world’s first major theme park based on robots is coming to Incheon, South Korea. Robot Land has already raised more than 784.5 billion Won (~$680 million USD) to create the 100+ acre facility which will include theme attractions, a water park, residential/commercial space, and professional areas for research (as reported in the Korea Herald). Set to break ground in November 2010, Robot Land will go live in May of 2012, with a full scale opening in 2013.
This thing is going to packed with robots everywhere you look. There will be exhibition halls for popular robot franchises (Astroboy, Star Wars, Transformers, etc), recreations of movie sets (i-robot, Matrix, Minority Report), and plenty of rides and shows. According to the Robot Land website, the park will feature robot cashiers, robotic performances, and robot themed shopping. There will even be a stadium for robotic competitions. We have stacks of artists renderings for all the amazing attractions that Robot Land will feature, from an aquarium full of controllable robot fish, to a roller coaster that plunges into the water. Check these images out and you’ll understand why Robot Land expects to receive some 2.8 million visitors per year.
Part of what makes Robot Land so interesting is that it will contain spaces for many different uses. Where else could you plan to ride a giant robot arm as a rollercoaster and see a research facility staffed by engineers from Seoul National University all in the same place?
Usually when robots arrive, human jobs are lost. However, Robot Land hopes to create some 18,000 new opportunities for human workers. That explains why both the local and national governments have contributed millions of dollars worth of funding. Though the majority of Robot Land finances (~90%) have still been raised from private sources.
Robot Land is another sign that humans are coming to accept and enjoy a world full of robots. It’s also one of the first large scale manifestations of what you could call ‘robot enthusiast culture’. Much like the World Expo, Robot Land could serve to provide a promising vision of the future. Whether or not those promises will be fulfilled is still uncertain. It’s possible that the children (and adults) who attend Robot Land will form part of the generation that helps to create the next round of powerful thinking machines. At the very least, Robot Land will serve as a nice token of appreciation for our new overlords after the robot uprising.
[image credits: Robot Land]