The robot, which is scheduled to enter the US market in early 2022, will enable workers to work alongside and safely use robot assistants that are able to navigate busy environments while carrying up to 66 pounds of food or goods, assisting with employee workloads, enabling better customer service and increasing operational efficiency.
“The LG CLOi ServeBot is truly a breakthrough for all kinds of consumer-focused businesses, from restaurants to retail stores to hotels,” explained Jeffrey Weiland, B2B robotics team leader at LG Business Solutions USA. “As the first commercial service robot to receive UL certification for safe operation in consumer environments, the CLOi ServeBot’s semi-autonomous operation offers businesses an effective means to provide enhanced service, while freeing staff to focus on customer relations and build relationships that encourage repeat visits. LG’s CLOi ServeBot can navigate virtually any environment and free up staff to handle direct customer service.”
Designed to offer up to 11 hours of operation on a single charge, the LG CLOi ServeBot features three shelves that can each hold up to 22 pounds (10kg), for a total delivery capacity of 66 pounds. The robot can be programmed for a variety of floor plans, enabling precise multi-point deliveries ranging from densely packed restaurants to sprawling office complexes.
The UL certification is being seen as a major step forward for commercial and consumer robots, with UL 3300 signifying a new standard for SCIEE units - SCIEE stands for Service, Communication, Information, Education and Entertainment.
These robots are built to operate in open-world dynamic environments where they perform functional actions beyond monitoring and can adapt in real-time to changes in the environment.
The LG CLOi ServeBot deploys a number of sensors and technologies and combines data from a LIDAR detector, a 3D camera, a Time of Flight (ToF) sensor and a bumper sensor, to recognise stationary and moving objects in its path and make real-time adjustments to avoid collisions.
Each shelf also has its own ToF sensor, so the robot knows when an item has been removed and it can move on to the next destination. ToF sensors determine how far away objects are by measuring the time it takes a pulse of light to be reflected back, making them useful for both navigation and shelf occupancy detection.
The LG CLOi ServeBot stands 52.7-inches tall, has a footprint of 20.1 by 20.1-inches, and features an adjustable speed of up to one meter per second (up to 2.2 mph). The on-board 23,000 mAh battery provides up to 11 hours of continuous operation and charges from 0-100% in just five hours using a 120V outlet.
The robot has to be pre-programmed with a map of its operating space and destination points, after which it can automatically determine the ideal path for each point-to-point trip and navigate autonomously through dynamic environments and around moving objects.
Initially, the LG CLOi ServeBot will be available exclusively from certified integrators and LG has initiated product training programmes around the country, but it said that it would soon look to expand outreach to interested firms to ensure nationwide availability.