New robots designed to replace workers in airports, hotels and supermarkets have been announced by LG Electronics.
The firm is showcasing a trio of robots designed to carry your suitcase, shopping and drinks at the global Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas next week.
Tech companies are racing to create automated machines capable of carrying out service industry tasks, threatening the jobs of up to 800 million workers worldwide.
Each of LG’s new robots is bin-shaped, shorter than a human, and moves via a hidden set of wheels at its base.
A circular screen with a bright-eyed digital face gives the machines a ‘human’ touch.
The robots all feature prominent touch-screen displays to provide people with information and receive instructions.
A spokesman for South Korean firm LG told CNBC that the robots are still ‘concept’ products and are ‘a long way from ready to go public’.
The first of the new machines is a server robot designed to carry food and drinks to customers at hotels and airport lounges.
A built-in sliding tray installed into the assistant will collect the food and protect it while the robot is in transit.
The second of the three new machines is a porter robot capable of carrying hotel guests’ luggage to and from rooms.
The machine can also handle ‘express check-in and check-out services’, though LG has given no further detail on what these entail.
Lastly, LG will unveil a machine that works with customers at supermarkets, telling them product prices and then guiding them through the aisles.
The machines form part of LG’s new ‘CLOi’ range, which is the new brand for all of its robot products.
LG will likely begin trials of the service machines soon.
The firm’s two airport robots, designed to help passengers check-in and find their boarding gates, are already being tested at South Korea’s Incheon Airport.
If popularised, service industry robots could see the jobs of millions of worker across the globe lost to automation.
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