LG Electronics has agreed with E-Mart to jointly develop a “self-driving shopping cart” that can be conveniently used by consumers at large stores.
LG Electronics and E-Mart has recently signed a contract to develop robots for retail services. The first retail service robot to be introduced is a smart shopping cart. This robot avoids obstacles on its own using its object recognition functions and follows consumers using its self-driving functions. "It will save users having to drag heavy carts themselves," an LG official said.
Already, LG Electronics has been working hard on retail robots. At the IFA exhibition held in Berlin, Germany in September, it unveiled the "LG Cartbot" shaped like a turtle ship, drawing attention from visitors. In June, it decided to invest $3 million in Bosanova Robotics, a U.S. retail robot developer. This is the first time the company invested in a foreign robot developer.
Bosanova Robotics, which was established in 2005, has developed a robot that can detect customers, employees, and obstacles on its own and manage stores in real time. It is currently operating at 50 Wal-Mart stores in the U.S. The company has recently established an office in the U.K. to expand its presence in global markets.
The agreement with E-Mart is expected to help LG Electronics increase the use of its cartbot and push for an expansion of its retail robot portfolio through continuous investment.
“We will introduce diverse service robots in various locations to help consumers experience robots in their daily lives,” said Cho Taek-il, head of LG Electronics Convergence Center.