We're in Korea checking out the technology of the future
Scared that robots may one day develop consciousness and destroy the planet? Then look away now. Because LG has just introduced a whole army – sorry, range – of CLOi autonomous robots that will one day take over the worldhelp us humans out with everyday tasks.
Let’s start with the relatively harmless-looking tabletop LG CLOi home robot, who we got to hang out with at LG HQ in Seoul. If the faceless Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa don’t appeal, maybe she will.
With her cute wide-eyed ‘face’ and cooing response to gentle past on the ‘head’, she’s more of a pet than a smart speaker. And like anyone, will get upset if a Korean lady pokes her in the eye.
Through LG’s ThinQ smart system, she’s able to communicate with other LG appliances around the home. Which means she can do helpful things like tell you what’s in the fridge and suggest a recipe for dinner, preheat the oven, or make a start on the laundry.
CLOi is also fully compatible with the aforementioned Alexa and Google, so she’s totally clued up on the weather, who got booted out of Strictly at the weekend and can sing a mean rendition of happy birthday.
Koreans will be able to get their hands on a CLOi shortly, and we might see her in the UK in the near future. But she’s just the tip of the robotic iceberg. Joining her are a collection of concept helpers, one of which we saw wandering around Seoul’s Incheon Airport. Meet CLOi CleanBot.
This giant robot sweeper has been tasked with keeping the arrivals hall clean, singing away as it works. Its manners are impeccable – if you’re in its way it will ask you politely to move.
Also coming to a departure lounge near you soon is the LG CLOi GuideBot. Show it your plane ticket and it will lead you to the right gate.
And when you arrive at your hotel, you might be greeted by a CLOi PorterBot. It will check you in, show you to your room and even carries your luggage for you. We wonder if you have to tip?
Other Bots in LG’s line-up include the CartBot for simple supermarket shopping and a more familiar-looking LawnBot that cuts the grass.
While the idea of CLOi didn’t compute with everyone in our tour group, we quickly grew attached to the littlest CLOi. And we weren’t at all worried when GuideBot CLOi started wandering around with us. Would you be happy seeing a CLOi in your home?