According to a statement released by LG Electronics Inc on 5 November 2018, the company has entered into an agreement with South Korean Retail Company E-mart Inc to create a smart shopping cart robot. The robot will be designed by the company enabling it to auto-identify obstacles as it moves with the customers at the supermarkets. Commenting on the development, LG said that the new robot will make it easy for the customers to shop by pushing heavy cart manually.
Under the agreement, the robot will be developed at the research center of LG in South Korea. The company through its lab has already launched a number of CLOi brand robots. Under the brand, LG has launched as many as eight robots till date. The robots are configured to carry out different tasks such as cleaning, mowing the lawn and guiding. Another robot named CLOi SuitBot is designed to lift heavy weight objects.
Commenting on its achievement in the robotic field LG said that the company is always on the look for an opportunity to grow it robot business. It has already collaborated with clients from various fields like bakeries and airports to bolster the robot business growth. The CLOi brand stands for clever, clear, close operating intelligence, addressed LG officials to the media.
The company’s strategy to grow its footprint in the robot business includes making investments as well. The company has already invested in robotic companies that include US-based Bossa Nova Robotics and AI startup Acryl.
For the smart shopping cart robot, the company is scheduled to begin the proof-of-concept testing in the first half of 2019. The new smart shopping cart robot will have a built-in barcode scanner, a display of the lists of products added in the cart, and navigation tools to guide the shopper to the location of the desired product. The shoppers will be provided with an app in their smartphone using which they will be able to control the robot, see information like where are vegetables in the supermarkets and more.
Although LG is mulling to expand its footprint in the robotic industry through the agreement, E-mart is adding tech expertise to its portfolio as a mean to set a tough competition for its competitors. The companies, however, did not reveal any financial information about the deal. It was also not revealed whether the companies have confirmed for an ETA of the smart carts or not.
The expected release date of the smart shopping cart is not out yet. However, it is hoped that the carts will be available in the Korean markets by end of 2019. The companies till now have also not confirmed their plans to launch the carts in the global market which means we will have to wait until the first half of 2019 to get the necessary details on the cart robots and the future plans of the companies.