Why it matters to you
Traveling in airports can be a stressful experience, but LG’s robots want to make things a bit better.
Airports certainly aren’t known as the happiest places on earth, but one South Korean company is making an attempt to bring some joy into these travel hubs. In advance of the 2018 Winter Olympics slated to take place in Pyeongchang, LG has begun trialling new robots in Seoul’s Incheon International Airport, the nation’s largest airport. Meet the Airport Guide Robot and the Airport Cleaning Robot, two distinct bots that may just put a smile on your face in even the most stressful travel situations.
Initially unveiled at CES earlier this year, the aptly named bots will seek to create a more seamless airport experience from all perspectives. To help you find your way around bustling terminals, the Guide Robot will offer directions and boarding time information to travelers, and is capable of speaking Korean, English, Chinese, and Japanese. You can even ask the bot to scan your boarding pass and escort you to the correct departure gate (which could be particularly useful if your mother tongue is not one the aforementioned).
It’s unclear as of yet how quickly the bot can actually escort you from Point A to Point B — after all, if you’re in a rush, you may not have time for a slow robot guide. That said, if you’ve time to kill, the robot can tell you where the nearest restaurant or water fountain is located.
On the other hand, the Cleaning Robot “detects the areas that require the most frequent cleaning, stores those locations in its database and calculates the most efficient routes to get there.” More or less a tall, large Roomba, it strikes quite an impressive presence, and may just make you want one for your own home.
These latest developments display LG’s hopes to “develop and expand its commercial robot business as a future growth engine,” the company said in a press release. As it stands, there are five examples of each kind of robot roaming the Seoul airport, so if you’re planning any travel to South Korea, you may want to keep an eye out for these helpful little guys. They could be the way of the traveling future.