LG electronics announced some rather large, human-sized conceptual robots today that it seems to be marketing to people that don’t want to schlep around their luggage or groceries.
The announcement comes just before the start of CES, a time rife with of ideas — some which turn out to be useful and innovative, but many of which are junk. LG is betting on some interest for its three CLOi (pronounced KLOH-ee) robots: the Serving Robot, Porter Robot and Shopping Cart robot.
These robots aren’t yet being produced for consumers, but will be on display at the CES show.
The company says that these prototypical machines recently completed successful trial runs at Korea’s Incheon International Airport, wherein they presumably wheeled over food to human patrons and carried luggage around. It’s unknown if the trials were actually successful and whether or not the large robots spilled any drinks.
In the case of the Shopping Robot, LG envisions humans following this machine around grocery stores, guiding people to products they’ve selected on an app. Apparently this bot might come in handy for those unable to navigate or not interested in navigating grocery stores on their own.
LG calls these robots a “key factor of LG’s transformation into an AI company.” It’s unclear how the bots might be employing sophisticated machine-learning algorithms, rather than simply following directions (like robots have been doing for decades). LG does note, however, that it plans for these robots to one day have the capacity for “emotional interaction” with its human patrons, but this is a longer-term hope: Today’s popular home assistants like Alexa and Google Home, for instance, certainly don’t understand how you’re feeling or what you desire.
Fortunately, LG’s conceptual servant robots don’t need to understand your sentiments in order to bring you a beer.