The Register reports South Korea's Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy has granted Samsung 6.75 billion won (US$14.8 million) to develop robots capable of delicate manufacturing tasks. The goal here is to create high-tech robots capable of replacing humans to drive down manufacturing costs, and to give South Korea a chance to pick up business and/or supplying factories that today require hundreds of thousands of semi-skilled workers in China and other developing nations.
Big contract manufacturers are very cost-sensitive, so anything that reduces their outgoings will be welcome. Or maybe not: China's rise has been helped by the many millions of people who have been able to win decently-paying semi-skilled jobs. China knows manufacturing isn't its long-term ticket to prosperity, but will also hope these bots don't arrive in a hurry. So will the likes of India and Indonesia, who are trying hard to bring electronics manufacturing to their shores.