The rise of robots hasn't exactly gone smoothly, but companies are determined to get it right. Today, LG announced that it's deploying a fleet of robots at Incheon International Airport in Seoul, South Korea. This isn't the first we've heard of these adorable robot friends. LG announced them earlier this year, and they've been hanging out in the Seoul airport for the last five months as part of a beta test. During that time, LG engineers have been testing and improving their performance, while the robots presumably loitered and caused trouble.
I recently had the opportunity to travel to South Korea to look over LG's work in both the AI and robotics fields, including some detailed time with its LG CLOi Airport Guide Robot. That's a design that LG has iterated on over time, and I had the chance to sit down for an interview (via a translator) with Hyungjn Choi, LG's Leader of Life support Robot Biz. That's a fancy title to say that he's in charge (in his own words) "of robot business development and product planning" at LG. Robots in industry are nothing new, but people-centric robots are a tough challenge. Mr Choi is quite clear that the first robot was the toughest. "Technically speaking, the most difficult one is the first one that you can see when you arrive (at Seoul's Incheon International Airport), the Airport guide robot.
LG just announced a new line of robot helpers that are pretty damn cute. Sort of like a robot butler, the Hub Robot can control your Wi-Fi connected appliances, so it can preheat your oven and tell you when your food is done. Also available in a smaller "Mini" version, the Hub Robot has an interactive display that shows information about what it's doing, like checking the weather or starting your next load of laundry. This will come in handy for all those wifi connected appliances, LG's hub robot #MashCES pic.twitter.com/XNwNk1Hrrv It uses Amazon's Alexa voice recognition technology to listen to commands and has facial recognition abilities to distinguish between different members of the household.
In preparation for next year's Winter Olympics in South Korea, electronics giant LG is trialling new robots in the country's largest airport. From today, Seoul's Incheon International Airport will be home to two of LG's latest prototype bots: the Airport Guide Robot and the Airport Cleaning Robot. The bots were first unveiled at CES earlier this year, and both do exactly what their names suggest. The Guide Robot will roam the terminals, ready to provide travelers with directions and information about boarding times. It speaks four languages -- Korean, English, Chinese, and Japanese -- and users can even get it to scan their boarding pass to be escorted to their correct departure gate.