The rise of robots hasn’t exactly gone smoothly, but companies are determined to get it right. Today, LG announced that it’s deploying a fleet of robots at Incheon International Airport in Seoul, South Korea.
This isn’t the first we’ve heard of these adorable robot friends. LG announced them earlier this year, and they’ve been hanging out in the Seoul airport for the last five months as part of a beta test. During that time, LG engineers have been testing and improving their performance, while the robots presumably loitered and caused trouble. But now that they’re out of their rebellious teenage years, they’re ready to be pressed into service. This is still considered a trial — after all, LG doesn’t want the robots becoming suicidal and launching themselves into a fountain to end it all.
There are two robots that are in service: an Airport Guide Robot and an Airport Cleaning Robot. The Airport Guide Robot is in place to interact with passengers. It can understand four languages — Korean, English, Chinese and Japanese — thanks to LG’s voice recognition software. It can tell you where a restaurant is located or escort late passengers straight to their gate with a quick boarding pass scan. The Cleaning Robot is in place to make sure the airport stays tidy by monitoring the areas that need the most frequent cleaning — so in other words, you’ll probably see this little guy in the bathroom the next time you’re at the Seoul airport.
Service robots have become increasingly common — Dubai is hoping to hire (purchase?) enough police robots to man (robot?) an entire police station by 2030. While we’re wary of the hastening approach of the robot revolution, they certainly are pretty adorable to look at.