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Autonomous patrol robot wins approval for demonstration at public children's park in Seoul

By Kim Joo-heon Posted : December 30, 2021, 17:14 Updated : December 30, 2021, 17:14

[Courtesy of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy]

SEOUL -- Toolspace, a domestic autonomous robot developer, received the green light to test the company's patrol robot, which weighs about 120 kilograms (264 pounds), at a public children's park in Seoul to monitor blind spots that are not covered by closed-circuit television cameras. The service robot will use visual and audio sensors to detect fire and illegal activities.
Previously, robots that weigh more than 30 kilograms and move faster than 25 kilometers (16 miles) per hour were not allowed to operate inside a park. Autonomous robots equipped with a camera could not freely collect information at parks without permission from pedestrians due to privacy reasons.  
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said in a statement that Toolspace was allowed to demonstrate the autonomous patrol robot through a regulation exemption program. Because the service robot can efficiently inspect blind spots that are difficult to monitor through the park's security system, the ministry will set up new policies based on the operational data of the self-driving robot. The robot developer should designate demonstration areas in the park and follow other privacy-related rules to avoid privacy infringement issues.
Patrol robots have been demonstrated in many different regions in South Korea. In October 2021, the demonstration of patrol robots in a popular shopping area was launched in Daejeon some 145 kilometers south of Seoul. In September 2021, Hyundai auto group deployed a four-legged patrol robot for a pilot operation to an automotive plant to secure workers' safety in industrial sites.

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