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.
It's a fun site designed for robot enthusiasts of all ages and backgrounds. You should go check it out right now. Seriously, stop reading this and go to robots.ieee.org. We really hope there was something that captured your interest. A major goal of the ROBOTS site--which is an expansion of our Robots App from a few years back--is being a resource for anyone interested in robotics, no matter if you're a beginner or a robot legend.
Now roboticists say they want to try a similar approach with video to teach their charges how to interact with the environment. Sudeep Dasari at the University of California, Berkeley, and colleagues are creating a database called RoboNet, consisting of annotated video data of robots in action. For example, the data might include numerous instances of a robot moving a cup across a table. The idea is that anybody can download this data and use it train a robot's neural network to move a cup too, even if it has never interacted with a cup before.