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South Korea invests $450 million to make awesome robots

Autonomous vacuums are the most widely used robots in the country -- its government wants to change that.

GV Cruz, WireImage

South Korea has brought us Samsung, the world's biggest phone maker. Now, the country's government is investing big bucks so that the world's biggest robotics maker hails from South Korea, too.

The country will invest $450 million, or 500 billion won, to cultivate a strong robotics industry, Yonhap News reports.

Vacuum robots are the most widely used type of robot in the household, medical and agricultural sectors, the country's trade ministry says. Much of the money will go into research and development centres in the hope that more ambitious robotics will be developed.

South Korea has competition though, with many nations building robots to do their/our bidding. Japanese telco Softbank is behind the development of Pepper, a companion humanoid robot; and an institute in the country has built a prototype for a 13-foot robot whose chest you crawl into to control.

Other countries are too enterprising for their own good -- a Kickstarter from a New York-based startup tried to raise funds to create a beer pong bot, but, sadly, failed to reach its goal.

The government hopes to see fruits from this investment by 2020, the report adds.