The Korea Herald


Kibot to make global debut beginning in Middle East

By Korea Herald

Published : June 13, 2012 - 20:08

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Kim Nan-hyung, 31, was surprised to find out how frequently she uses the “Kibot,” a robot for kids introduced by mobile carrier KT, for her 20-month-old daughter every day.

“Because I have a full-time job, I play the animations or songs on the device for my daughter when I’m busily getting ready to go to work or while I cook dinner with her next to me,” she said.
Children play and learn with the second-generation “Kibot,” a robot for kids introduced by KT, in Seoul on Wednesday. (KT) Children play and learn with the second-generation “Kibot,” a robot for kids introduced by KT, in Seoul on Wednesday. (KT)

“I also turn on the Kibot to sing my baby Seo-jin to sleep and she now knows it’s time to go to bed when I show her the moving pictures on the wall through the beamer attached to the robot.”

KT, the country’s biggest fixed-line service operator, and iriver jointly developed the second-generation Kibot ― a robot that features educational and multimedia content for kids.

Running on the Android 2.2 operating system, the robot is equipped with a 7-inch display screen and a high-definition 500M pixel camera, along with a beam projector, according to KT officials.

The robot, which is 32 centimeters tall and weighs 3 kilograms, also has a 1 gigahertz processor, two stereo speakers and it could recognize up to 140 words and play content for seven and a half hours, company officials said.

With the robot itself priced at 681,000 won, the kibot owners could apply for monthly services ― which include 100 minutes for voice calls and video messages, 10,000 episodes through video-on-demand service and five different apps ― from 15,000 to 25,000 won per month, they said.

“The firm plans on upgrading the robot for children education and more aggressively target overseas markets with it, starting from nations in the Middle East and move on to those in Europe and Asian regions,” said a KT official.

The company also plans on launching a new robot for seniors in the latter half of this year in a bid to create a new service robot market in the country, the official said.

The first-generation Kibot, which rolled out in May last year, received the presidential award in 2011.

By Cho Ji-hyun (