LG Bets Big on Robots at CES

LG made it clear at CES 2017 that it's all in on robotics. The company introduced the Hub Robot, two robots for airports, a robot lawnmower and more.

Photo Caption: LG's Hub Robot connects to smart appliances in the home, using Amazon Alexa's voice recognition technology to complete household tasks such as turning on the air conditioner or changing a dryer cycle with simple verbal commands.

LAS VEGAS - LG Electronics unveiled a slew of new robots and deep learning appliances at CES 2017.

Let’s start with the Hub Robot. Think of it as Jibo meets Amazon Echo. Poor Jibo, getting ripped off again. The sleek Hub Robot uses Amazon Alexa’s voice recognition technology to connect to smart home devices and help with some of those menial household chores. But it also has an interactive display, can share information, stream music, create reminders, and much more.

The Hub Robot can respond to its human counterparts by nodding its head when answering simple questions. And it can distinguish different family members’ faces with its camera, so it can be programmed with a different greeting for each family member.

To complement the Hub Robot, LG will also introduce mini robots that can be placed in other rooms in the house, which is what Amazon did with the Echo Dot.

Robot Vacuum, Deep Learning Appliances

LG’s newest robotic vacuum will recognize objects around the home, such as wires and shoes, and react accordingly. The LG robot vacuum can also differentiate between households objects and a person. And if someone is standing in the robot’s way, LG says it will ask the person to move aside so that it can continue cleaning.

The deep learning-based refrigerator will analyze usage and eating patterns to predict future behavior. For example, it will automatically re-fill the ice tray at the time of the day when cold drinks are most in demand. And it will automatically adjust temperatures as the season’s change to help prevent food spoilage.

And LG’s smart air conditioner works somewhat like the Nest thermostat. The air conditioner uses deep learning to learn about the patterns of the occupants and which parts of the home are used most throughout the day. LG uses this information to then create the most comfortable conditions.

LG Airport Robots

LG also unveiled its Airport Robot Guide that it has been developing for South Korea’s Incheon International Airport. The Airport Guide Robot is designed to assist travelers, answering questions in four languages: English, Chinese, Japanese and Korean. After scanning a passenger’s ticket, the Airport Robot Guide provides information about a flight’s boarding time and gate location and the weather of the traveler’s destination.

LG Airport Robots
LG Airport Robot Guide

The airport robot also offers directions to destinations inside the airport, along with estimated distances or walking times, and can even escort lost or late travelers to their gates, or any other airport location.

LG also introduced the Airport Cleaning Robot, which is essentially a robot vacuum on steroids. LG says this robot can clean any type of flooring and is equipped with LiDAR and SLAM technology to detect obstacles and always know its location.

LG is based in South Korea, of course, and it’s looking to help the airport automate some of the customer experience as the country prepares to host the 2018 Winter Olympics.

LG Airport Cleaning Robot

LG Robot Lawnmower

Finally, LG introduced a robot lawnmower that is says has benefited from years of development of the HOM-BOT vacuum cleaner. The robot lawnmower, which we’re still trying to learn more about, is equipped with many of the advanced sensors found in the airport robots, so it knows its own location at every moment and can detect obstacles

LG is pretty vague on the setup process, which usually is labor-intensive with robot lawnmowers. All LG says at the moment is that its “side wire simplifies the ordinarily-complicated installation process, making it user-friendly.”




About the Author

Steve Crowe · Steve Crowe is managing editor of Robotics Trends. Steve has been writing about technology since 2008. He lives in Belchertown, MA with his wife and daughter.
Contact Steve Crowe: scrowe@ehpub.com  ·  View More by Steve Crowe.




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