(News Focus) S. Korean companies showcase latest industrial innovations
By Kim Han-joo
SEOUL, Nov. 17 (Yonhap) -- More than 300 South Korean firms presented their latest innovative technology and industry-leading products Thursday amid the fast-paced industrial transformation dubbed the "fourth industrial revolution."
"Korea R&D 2016" kicked off for a three-day run at the Convention and Exhibition Center (COEX) in southern Seoul for a two-day run. The event, the 22nd of its kind, is hosted by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE).
Many local companies have been revamping research and development (R&D) efforts to secure a new growth strategy to cope with the fourth industrial revolution that is characterized by a fusion of cutting-edge technologies such as big data and the Internet of Things (IoT).
A total of 313 companies in the sectors of ICT fusion, new material, bio-health, and new energy presented a total of 472 hottest innovative products.
"This year's event brought together the largest number of companies," said Kim Jung-eun, a MOTIE official. "The ministry aims to provide opportunities for everyone to experience great R&D accomplishments by local firms."
Cheong Man-ki, vice-minister of Trade, Industry and Energy, tries latest innovative product at "Korea R&D 2016" held at the Convention and Exhibition Center (COEX) in southern Seoul on Nov. 17, 2016. (Yonhap)
Yunjin Robot Co. set up a booth at the exhibition to introduce GoCart, an autonomous meal-transport robot for hospitals and other elderly care facilities.
The robot is equipped with the latest navigation system and 3-dimensional obstacle avoidance technology that reduces the chances of crashing.
Noticeably, it has an IoT interface and can be connected with existing information technology system and other IT devices such as smartphones and PCs.
The IoT is a network of physical objects, including vehicles, buildings and electronic devices, connected to the Internet to exchange data. It allows such objects to be sensed and controlled remotely.
"Robots are suitable for jobs such as medicine or meal delivery, which need to be carried out at the exact same time everyday," said Ahn Jeong-hee, a Yunjin Robot official. "A lot of money can be saved and the efficiency can be maximized at hospitals."
Yunjin Robot Co. presents GoCart at "Korea R&D 2016" held at the Convention and Exhibition Center (COEX) in southern Seoul on Nov. 17, 2016. It is an autonomous meal-transport robot for hospitals and other elderly care facilities. (Yonhap)
South Korea-based InBody Inc., a global leader in the body composition analysis, also showcased its latest series at the booth.
The new InBody series provides a comprehensive view of body composition balance by using the method of bioelectrical impedance analysis, company officials said.
"The measurement is much more accurate and it takes less than one minute for the analysis, compared to two to three minutes from previous models," said an InBody official, who requested not to be named.
The company said it has so far exported their products to over 70 countries with 30.9 billion won (US$26.2 million) in 2015.
A South Korean soccer player measures body composition with a product by Inbody Inc. on Dec. 28, 2016. (Yonhap)
An awards ceremony was also held on the sidelines of the exhibition where a total of 27 companies were awarded for their latest innovations.
The top prize went to Silicon Mitus Co., a mid-sized semiconductor company which delivers high performance power management solutions for consumer electronics.
The company boasts four innovative technologies, including a power management system within a smartphone device that allows batteries to last longer.
The company has a 34 percent global market share in the sector, and more than one third of smartphones manufactured by tech giant Samsung Electronics Co. are equipped with this technology.
Winners of an awards ceremony held on the sidelines of "Korea R&D 2016" pose for a photo at the Convention and Exhibition Center (COEX) in southern Seoul on Nov. 17, 2016. (Yonhap)