LG serves up helper robots for airports, hotels and shopping
LG is set to unveil its latest line of robots at next week's CES in Las Vegas. Unlike its previous lineup of four distinct robo-helpers introduced at last year's show, the CLOi robot brand is composed of three robots based on a common design built to interact with travelers and customers at premium supermarkets.
At CES 2017, LG rolled out its Airport Guide Robot, Airport Cleaning Robot, Lawn Mowing Robot, and Hub Robot. Even through their names it was obvious that the quartet had little in common by way of design and operating environments (though they did share a similar futuristic curvy outline).
The Guide Robot helped passengers at airports find their way, while the Cleaning Robot avoided the public as it vacuumed the floor. Meanwhile, the Lawn Mowing Robot did what its name suggests and the Hub hung around the home and helped the inhabitants cope with their smart devices.
With the CLOi line (pronounced KLOH-ee), the three robots share a similar design with a squat, barrel body topped by a circular face-like interface display, and it is purely the programming that distinguishes one from another.
The Serving Robot is aimed at the hotel and airport markets. For reasons of both safety and economy, certain airport restaurants inside security checkpoints are using touchscreen ordering systems and minimal staff to avoid unnecessary risks. The Serving Robot takes this one step further, allowing the restaurants to deliver food round-the-clock free from human input, with a built-in sliding tray from which the customer can remove their order.
The Porter Robot has a carry platform and is designed to carry hotel guests' luggage to and from their rooms with minimal waiting. In addition, it can handle express check-in and check-out services and process payments.
Finally, the Shopping Cart Robot is made for premium supermarkets and is intended to follow customers and help them make selections. It incorporates a barcode scanner to confirm prices and displays a completed shopping list. Using a smartphone app, customers can also tell the robot to help them find a desired item, so the location of the tinned peaches may no longer be a mystery.
"As an important part of our future growth engine, LG is committed to expanding its portfolio of robots that can deliver real convenience and innovation in our customers' lives," says Ryu Hye-jung, head of the smart solution business division of LG's Home Appliance & Air Solutions Company. "We will continue to develop a wide range of products across commercial and home robots while seeking new opportunities to contribute to the advancement of the robotics industry."
No information was released as to when or if the CLOi line will be offered to the public.