The technology to make useful and affordable robots is within reach and includes smart sensors, LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) radar, facial recognition, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, spatial mapping and negotiation, and enough computing power for basic artificial intelligence and meaningful robot/human communications and interaction a.k.a. Cortana, Alexa, and chatbots.
Robots are projected to take on at least 6% of US jobs by 2021, according to a Forrester research report. The disruptive tidal wave is projected to start by replacing menial, repetitive and dangerous tasks, but will move to autonomous vehicles, customer facing roles, digital concierges, and more. Many homes are expected to have an advanced robotic helper in the next 10 years.
Song Dae-hyun, president of LG Electronics and Home Appliance & Air Solutions Company, said, “LG has been involved in smart technology and robotics for many years (as) evidenced by the HOM-BOT robot vacuum cleaner being our most visible consumer effort. At CES, we’re demonstrating how we’re taking the knowledge gleaned from years of research and applying that to various situations inside and outside the home.”
Robots on display include:
LG’s Hub Robot connects to other smart appliances in the home. It uses Amazon Alexa’s voice recognition technology to complete household tasks such as turning on an air-conditioner or changing a dryer cycle with simple verbal commands. The Hub Robot is equipped with an interactive display that can provide information such as images of contents inside a refrigerator, and recipes, complete with step-by-step audio instructions. Additionally, it can play music, set alarms, create reminder memos and provide weather and traffic updates.
The Hub Robot can move and swivel in place, and express emotions through a face on its display. It is designed to respond to consumers by using body language, such as nodding when answering simple questions. It is aware of activities in the home, such as family members leaving, coming home and going to bed. As the Hub Robot can recognise family members' faces through its camera, it can greet each one differently.
The Hub Robot works best when placed in areas where family members tend to gather. To complement the Hub Robot, LG will also introduce mini-robots that can be placed in other rooms of a house. These mini robots are extensions of the Hub Robot and can perform many of the same functions.
Airport guide robot
The Airport Guide Robot – soon to be seen in Seoul’s Incheon International Airport – is an intelligent information assistant for travellers, answering questions in four languages: English, Chinese, Japanese and Korean. With a scan of a ticket, the robot can provide detailed information about boarding times and gate locations, and even the weather of a traveller’s destination city. It offers directions within the airport, along with estimated distances and walking times, and can even escort lost or late travellers to their gates.
Airport cleaning robot
LG’s Airport Cleaning Robot is a super-sized robot vacuum equipped with a large-capacity dust canister, multiple brushes and motors. It has the latest smart sensors and multiple cameras. Multiple sensors using LIDAR and sensitive bumpers which detect obstacles are used. With simultaneous localisation and mapping (SLAM) technology, it is always aware of its location.
Lawn mowing robot
LG’s Lawn Mowing Robot benefits from years of development of the HOM-BOT vacuum cleaner and can trim grass accurately, reliably and safely. Equipped with many of the advanced sensors and bumpers found in the airport robot, the Lawn Mowing Robot recognises its own location and that of every obstacle in sight. This robot employs a fast-moving blade. The side wire simplifies the ordinarily-complicated installation process without the need to calculate offsets.