LG Electronics just announced its first overseas investment on a robotic technology from Bossa Nova Robotics, a US-based startup. Apart from this recent move, the company also invested a little over $90 million in other robotics companies based in Korea.
The spent capital has been used in complementing the own efforts of the company in building solutions via the use of robots and related technologies. The other Korean companies LG has invested into for its initiative are SG Robotics, Robostar, Robotis, and Acryl.
Bossa Nova Robotics is known for providing effective solutions for inventory reporting on on-shelf products in retail stores. This collection of data is automated with a robot patrolling the isles in stores with the task of scanning shelves. One of the many test partners that made use of Bossa Nova’s solutions last year was Walmart.
According to LG Electronics’ vice president, Kim Sungwook, Bossa Nova Robotics is a key component to the company’s ThinQ AI strategy. The company, as reported by Sungwook, is committed to its goal of expanding its robotic capabilities, which is the reason why it has made several investments. The innovative partners they have invested into contribute towards achieving their goal as well as the company’s R&D efforts.
As for Acryl, it has been running for 7 years as a cognitive computing company. It’s been founded by experts from KAIST or Korea’s Advanced Institute of Science and Technology. Acryl is working on “Jonathan,” an AI that is capable of recognizing human emotions as well as the meaning of images, speech, and texts through the use of deep learning algorithms and massive amounts of data.
SG ROBOTICS, on the other hand, is working on “wearable robots.” The robots function as body-augmenting exoskeletons in order to boost a user’s power or help people who are movement-impaired in doing activities that would have been exhausting without the startup’s solution. The company’s WalkON Suit won the Cybathlon 2016’s bronze medal. It was also used by PyeongChang 2018 Paralympics’ torch bearer.
Robotis also builds educational robots with the sole focus on robots that are multi-jointed. Aside from that, they offer robotic solutions and produce hardware such as sensor modules, software, controllers, and other accessories that help in the programming of robots. As for Robostar, it specializes in industrial robotics solution production. The customers of Robostar are from several different industries including mobile, automobile, display, and semiconductors.
As of this moment, LG already deployed myriads of robots for trial service in Korea. The company’s Cleaning Robot and Guide Robot are being dispatched in order to assist the travelers that are at the largest airport of South Korea.
Earlier this year, LG also introduced three CLOi concept robots at CES. The robots were developed for the use in commercial areas especially in high-traffic locations like supermarkets and hotels. The CLOi robots of LG were created in parallel to the company’s ThinQ products, the AI brand of LG for home appliances and consumer electronics.