LG made quite an impression with a range of robots at last year's CES, and it's not stopping there. Following the trial runs of its Airport Guide Robot and the Airport Cleaning Robot at Incheon International Airport, the Korean company is now expanding its family of robots -- now branded under "CLOi" -- with three new models geared towards commercial use: Serving Robot, Porter Robot and Shopping Cart Robot. These machines appear to be about the same size as the Airport Guide Robot, and you'll find a familiar pair of jade-colored eyes on a circular plate at the top.
The public narrative around home robotics is largely split between social and functional robots, which differ in the types of services offered and their potential impact on jobs and roles traditionally filled by humans. Functional robots (seen below left) are built to handle specific tasks--cleaning, cooking, gardening, and security, to name a few--and could drastically affect the domestic labor market. Coverage jumped in January 2018, when LG showcased three new concept robots: Serving Robot, Porter Robot, and Shopping Cart Robot at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2018. Quid also found articles that mentioned a robot that can climb walls to clean and sort tupperware, one that can show your home to potential renters, and a home monitor that tells you if your kids walk the dog. Social robots (below right) aim to meet your emotional needs and are developed to provide companionship, care, or instruction.
I didn't believe it when I first saw it, but it soon made sense. Saudi Arabia has just granted citizenship to its first robot – the first time any country has recognised a robot in such a way. Her name is Sophia and this social robot is using her platform as the highest-profile robot in the world to advocate for women in her home nation.
This illustration shows the combustion in side the robot propelling it out of the water. Engineers often look to nature for inspiration when creating robots. Just look at Astro the robot dog or the antelope-like SpaceBok. A team with the Aerial Robotics Laboratory at the Imperial College London in the UK has developed a floating robot that can shoot a jet of water out of its rear to propel itself through the air. The robot is shaped like a little airplane.
China purchased 141,000 industrial robots in 2017, up 58.1 per cent year-on-year, but foreign brands accounted for nearly three-quarters of that, showing that the gap is still widening between Chinese robot makers and their foreign peers. The China International Robot Industry Summit, held in Shanghai, said the sales and growth rate of industrial robots hit records in 2017. Among industrial robots, 37,825 were domestically manufactured, up 29.8 per cent year-on-year. "As robotics is expanding into nearly every industry, Chinese robot makers should realise the gap between them and foreign brands, take advantage of China's robotics development boom and learn from foreign experience to help China grow from the world's largest robot market into a robot manufacturing power," said Qu Daokui, president of China Robot Industry Alliance and chief executive of the Shenyang-based Siasun Robot and Automation company. According to Mr Qu, foreign robot makers sold 103,191 robots to China in 2017, up 71.9 per cent from a year earlier.