The Korean government has been behind the push for the increase in robotics and drone technology. Drones are currently used for many things, such as disaster relief (COVID), agriculture, repairs, and logistics. In addition, Korea has a growing interest in personal drones used for recreation. However, most of the discussion is between government organizations in Korea and Korean logistics companies promoting the drone industry in South Korea. Currently, China is leading the world in drone manufacturing. However, South Korea has the potential to show the world in terms of drone innovation.

Drone Manufacturers in Korea

Drone Industry in South Korea

The top drop manufacturer in South Korea is Hojung Solutions, the developer of Remo-M. Not only are they a drone manufacturing company, but they are also a survey and mapping company that uses drones. Other drone manufacturers in Korea include:

Giantdrone CO. Ltd is a drone service company that offers drone education and sales.

UCONSYSTEM Co. Ltd. was the developer of the Korean armed forces’ first unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). They also develop unmanned helicopters and drones for agricultural spraying. Currently, they have entered the civilian drone market.

Drone Delivery in South Korea

PABLO AIR successfully conducted a long-distance drone delivery from Seogwipo Port on Jeju Island to Cheonjin Port on Wudo Island.

Korean eCommerce companies are looking into drone delivery systems to make home deliveries faster than they are now. The top drone delivery startup is PABLO AIR. They focus on unmanned aerial hardware and software development. In late 2019, PABLO AIR successfully delivered a long-distance drone from Seongwipo Port on Jeju Island to Cheonjin Port on Wudo Island. The distance was 57.5 km and took less than 2 hours. Currently, the startup is expanding its business to industries such as entertainment and education.

3D Drone Mapping in Korea

The Ministry of Land and Transportation (MOLIT) has already set up programmed routes for drones in Korea. These routes have been critical in keeping drones away from the general public. As drones continue to travel these programmed routes, better data is collected on spaces and obstacles in a given area.

Before 3D mapping, drones had to use 2D mapping, which made it difficult to avoid obstacles drones might come across. Testing the mapping layouts has already been done in 5 regions in Korea. These regions are remote industrial areas in Korea used mainly by commercialized drones. South Korea will need to continue focusing on safety standards such as air traffic control and operation before commercializing it. The global commercial drone market is estimated to grow to $6.5 billion by 2025.

The Top Drone District in Korea – Incheon

Songdo Drone Industry in South Korea

The top drone district in Korea is Incheon which is northwest of Seoul. It already has an aeronautics industry complex (16,000 square meters) where drone demonstrations, aerospace research, and testing of unmanned aircraft can occur. The area already has more than 20 companies that develop parts for drones in the area. The drone district in Incheon is called the Songdo International Business District, and it has already established a solid base regarding drone manufacturing and infrastructure. Incheon has all the best features for drones, as it has land and sea features and high-rise buildings. This is why many of the top startups in Korea in the drone industry are moving their offices to Songdo. The area offers cheaper rent compared to Seoul.

Free drone flying is allowed in Songdo, one of the few places in Korea with this lack of restrictions. Therefore casual drone users can fly their drones freely. This has already caused a culture of drones in the city. An electric-powered unmanned drone taxi was tested near Incheon over the Han River. This was to show the potential of unmanned drone taxis and the possibility of having these drones in Korea by 2025. Drones taxis could potentially reduce traffic congestion in Seoul, as well as help, improve air quality.

The Drone Software Industry in Korea 

The biggest strength South Korea has regarding the drone industry is in software. Many companies in Korea make software for drone parts, drone data processing, and drone navigation. The South Korean drone software industry is robust because Korea has one of the top semiconductor industries in the world. Semiconductors have played an important role in Korea’s process of drone manufacturing technology.

Drones for Military Use in South Korea


Due to tensions with China and North Korea, South Korea has invested heavily in military drones. Chinese fishing/trawling has tested the boundaries of the nautical borders of the West Sea for many years now. In addition, North Korea has also been accused of selling fishing permits to China to allow them to fish in their waters. Therefore, drones have been used for surveillance at sea. Many of these drones are equipped with AI technology. In 2021, the drones spotted around 180 Chinese vessels near the maritime border with North Korea.

Drones are not only being used at sea. South Korea will also develop manned-unmanned systems Light Armed Helicopters to combat unauthorized drones entering Korea. This is expected to be completed by the end of 2022. In addition, they will develop self-destruct drones called loitering munitions which can be used to crash into targets. South Korea will work with Israel to develop these loitering munitions.