Robot technology: CLOi’s road from creation to CES 2019

By V. Keller 04.12.2018

CLOi robots stand to attention at IFA 2018 | More at LG Magazine

CLOi has achieved many milestones since its launch. The robot technology is making its way to a bakery, supermarket and airport near you – and that’s just the start.

CLOi may have had a slightly bumpy start at CES 2018, but it’s come a long way since then, and LG has big plans for how this robotic technology will improve our lives.

Robots to help you shop, work and play better

In September 2018, CLOi Home began a trial with large South Korean bakery chain Paris Baguettes, greeting customers and offering a helping hand with recommendations for purchases. CLOi even has games and puzzles to keep children occupied while their parents shopped. And the robot was also pretty endearing.

The following November, LG announced they would develop CLOi CartBot as a solution for South Korean chain supermarket E-mart. Designed to help shoppers carry heavy items, the robotic technology utilises autonomous driving to follow shoppers around the store while avoiding obstacles.

These developments take place alongside CLOi CleanBot and GuideBots’ successful trial at South Korea’s Incheon International Airport. The bustling airport – spanning over 1km from end to end and hosting 95 million passengers in 2017 – was the perfect place to test the robots’ localization, recognition, path planning, vocal and emotional interaction features. As a result of the trial, 14 CLOi robots have been deployed there permanently.

During IFA 2018, after his keynote speech, LG CTO IP. Park told reporters CLOi’s developments in South Korea is just the beginning. “We expect these service robots to be extended to other public spaces, too,” he said.  89253546

“All this is a perfect testbed of exponential technologies and innovative business models. Our business model is not limited to just selling robot products and solutions. We aim to create new business models of data and services utilizing robots.“

Robotic technology working together

Thanks to collaborations with startups like SG Robotics and Robotis, CLOi has made huge strides outside the smart home and in areas like assisted walking and autonomous driving.

SG Robotics was set up to help people walk with ease and protect them in strenuous work settings and daily life. Their expertise in walking aids placed SG Robotics perfectly for a collaboration with CLOi. The company, which is owned by Angel Robotics, utilises SEA (series elastic actuation) technology, which helps create more natural movement with exoskeletons.

Meanwhile, Robotis merges personalization with robot technology, and creates everything from separate parts to complete robots to assist with education, research and outreach activities. Together with LG, they plan to create hardware and software with navigating features – leading to milestones like the CLOi CartBot autonomously following customers in the supermarket.

The CLOi CartBot is one of LG's stars at CES 2019, and it's coming to a supermarket near you | More at LG Magazine

LG have also been working with a number of educational institutions – in particular the University of Toronto, where they have a research partnership and AI research lab – to continue building on their expertise.

CLOi SuitBot - The first wearable robot

SG Robotics and LG’s SuitBot, which helps enhance the strength of the lower body, debuted at IFA 2018 and has made waves in robotic technology since. The exoskeleton helps people with heavy lifting, and those who have trouble walking. It also connects with other CLOi robots to create a smart working environment. 

A comfortable fit and naturally rotating joints allow the CLOi SuitBot to move in a more relaxed and natural way to enhance the lower body while walking, standing or working. The sandal-type shoes and automatic adjustment feature allow the wearer to get in and out of the suit more easily, differentiating LG CLOi SuitBot from many other exoskeletons.

The CLOi SuitBot will help people with walking, and also with heavy lifting | More at LG Magazine

Park added: “LG SuitBot has been designed based on thorough ergonomic studies, as well as actuation and sensing technologies. The SEA technology enables natural assistance. LG SuitBot does not use any sensors attached on the skin. Just wear it like clothing, and you are ready to go.”

CLOi joins the smart home revolution at CES

LG’s show at IFA 2018 was all about ThinQ and smart home technology; envisaging a home in which your most arduous tasks can be completed for you, and you can have more time for the things you love. CLOi robots took centre stage, in both the keynote speech and the exhibition. 

From vacuuming, to checking what’s in the fridge, to even getting cooking instructions and saving energy while you’re on holiday; ThinQ offers countless features which make your home work for you. CLOi Home will soon be an addition to this, but CLOi’s progress so far has moved beyond the home and into all aspects of our lives. What will be the latest at CES 2019? You’ll have to join us in Las Vegas to find out! And if you don’t make it, the latest news will be here at LG Magazine.

CLOi featured heavily in LG's keynote speech at IFA 2018, taking centre stage to answer some questions at one point | More at LG Magazine
Join CLOi at CES

CES takes place from 8-12 January 2019. As the world’s gathering place for innovators and breakthrough technologies, CLOi will be on hand to showcase LG’s robotics achievements so far.

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