LG helps warehouse workers with the bends
Consumer electronics giant LG will be taking a refreshed version of its CLOi SuitBot to CES 2019 next month, as it inches closer to commercial availability. Updated versions of the company's PorterBot, ServeBot and CartBot service robots will also be on show.
The CLOi SuitBot was unveiled last year at the IFA tech expo in Berlin. It's a lower body exoskeleton designed to help factory workers keep lifting and lowering heavy loads for longer, reducing fatigue and the risk of injury. At that time, users would need to strap themselves into a full leg and waist support unit before starting work. But LG has now refined the design.
The updated SuitBot still has the lower back support unit, but the chunky leg supports no longer go all the way down to the sandal-style shoes. This latest version features an adjustable dual strap mechanism at the abdomen and a one-piece support structure branching off to a thigh strap for each leg.
When a wearer bends at a 65-degree angle, the SuitBot automatically activates to enable 50-degree extension and 90-degree flexion of the waist. When the user returns to an upright position, the assistive system disengages. And operatives can make use of the SuitBot for 4 hours for every hour on charge.
LG's CLOi service robots have also been updated, being treated to improved connectivity and more advanced autonomous navigation. Artificial intelligence technology allows the PorterBot, ServeBot and CartBot to analyze the behavior and needs of customers and improve performance as they're used.
Customers can interact with the bots using a touch interface or with voice commands, and they can even have queries answered and have payments processed by the service bots.
There's still no word on when LG plans to roll out its fleet of CLOi bots, but visitors to CES 2019 in Las Vegas between January 8 and 12 can have a look for themselves. More details on all of the CLOi line will doubtless emerge at that time.