LG Electronics announced last week that it’s new self-driving service robot, “Aju” made its commercial debut at a state-run hospital in Seoul and that Aju’s duties include deliver various items such as blood samples, prescription drugs, diagnostic reagents and consumables.
LG has previously developed various service robots such as CLOi, an AI-based service robot, which provides navigational services and controls connected appliances, but this is the first time that a made in South Korea commercial service robot has been introduced to a hospital.
|LG's foodservice robot, CLOi (above) is being tested at a Seoul restaurant|
The company said that it believes that service robots will play a bigger role in the future to minimize physical human contact when non-face-to-face services are needed due to a new coronavirus pandemic.
Roh Jin-so from LG’s robotics division said, "We hope that at a time when non-face-to-face services are expanding, LG's CLOi robots will be actively introduced in various places such as hospitals, hotels, restaurants and offices to create new customer values.”
In February, just as the Covid-19 pandemic began to spread across the world, LG forged a strategic partnership with Woowa Brothers, the operator of South Korea's top food delivery service app Baedal Minjok.
The agreement between Baedal Minjok and LG focuses on LG’s ability to develop a total smart solution for delivery by combining LG's artificial intelligence and indoor self-driving technology with Woowa's know-how in operating service platforms.
In June, the Korea Institute for Robot Industry Advancement (KIRIA) selected LG and Woowa to join a program that is focused on developing the domestic service robot market. The two companies will develop a prototype robot server solution that will develop robots that Woowa can use for a robot rental business.
KIRIA has said that it believes that South Korean technology companies should focus on a number of practical business verticals that can immediately use service robots including airports, bars and restaurants, banks, government offices and hospitals.