LG Electronics has started trials for its indoor robot called Cloi Servebot that can carry up to 15 kgs of items in its three drawers and deliver them efficiently and hygienically to its destination without the remote control. The company said on Monday that LG Cloi Servebot will deliver products from convenience stores run by local store chain GS25 to the customers within LG Science Park, the company’s headquarters in Seoul.
The company earlier deployed the robot assistant at Seoul National University Hospital where it has been tasked with picking up and delivering equipment, blood samples, prescription drugs, and other items, freeing up busy staff to concentrate on patients.
The robots can get onto elevators on their own to move between nine floors above ground and a basement level to deliver lunch boxes, sandwiches, and drinks, LG said.
Customers can order using their KakaoTalk chat app. After the order is made, convenience store employees will put the ordered goods into the robot’s drawers and input the destination, reports ZDNet.
In March, LG Cloi Servebots were deployed to a restaurant to carry food trays to tables. LG Cloi ServeBot effortlessly navigates its way between tables, chairs, and customers to bring diners their meals as well as return dirty dishes and utensils to the kitchen. “Cloi ServeBot isn’t designed to replace wait staff but to complement them, helping to keep interaction between staff and customers to a minimum,” the company said.
Typically, food delivery robots stop outside of a building, requiring the recipient to come out to retrieve the order. But robots in South Korea are starting to cross that threshold, as it were, to venture inside the office and residential buildings to make deliveries more direct. Earlier this month, Woowa Brothers announced that it was working with HDC I-Controls and Hyundai Elevator to allow Dilly robots to enter a residential complex and autonomously work the elevator.
As with the Woowa deal, there are still some details left unclear by the report about LG’s machines. To use the Cloibot, a user places an order through the KakaoTalk chat app. A human at the GS25 convenience store packs the order into the robot and sends it off. The bigger point is that delivery robots are gaining the ability to traverse indoor settings at the right time.
The pandemic has businesses looking for a way to reduce human-to-human contact to reduce potential virus transmission. Having a robot means that a store or restaurant doesn’t have to send one of its workers out to make deliveries, and office/residential buildings can cut down on the number of different people coming in and out its doors.