This LG robot wants to fix the hiring crisis

In what has been labeled the "Great Resignation," millions of American workers are quitting their jobs, leaving millions of positions unfilled (via Harvard University). While virtually every industry has been impacted, the services industry has been particularly hard hit. Restaurants, bars, hotels, and the like are struggling to remain operational without the necessary staff to run day-to-day operations. Some restaurants have reported seeing 50 to 100% more business than pre-pandemic, but without the staff to handle it. LG is hoping to address that with the CLOi ServeBot.

The CLOi ServeBot: Robotic Service Staff

LG's CLOi ServeBot is the first robot to achieve UL 3300 certification, meaning it is able to operate in complex environments. This makes it ideal for restaurants, hotels, and retail outlets.

The CLOi ServeBot has semi-autonomous operation and can carry up to 66 pounds of goods. The robot features a 9.2-inch touchscreen, which operators can use to input information. When not being used for input, the touchscreen displays a welcoming face, with cartoon-like eyes designed to put customers at ease.

Each shelf has its own Time of Flight (ToF) sensor, which lets it know when an item has been removed. This helps the robot know when a task is complete and it's time to move on to the next one. In addition to shelf occupancy, the robot's ToF sensors can be used for navigation by measuring how long it takes for light pulses to be reflected back from objects.

"The LG CLOi ServeBot is truly a breakthrough for all kinds of consumer-focused businesses, from restaurants to retail stores to hotels," Jeffrey Weiland, B2B robotics team leader at LG Business Solutions USA said. The CLOi ServeBot provides 11 hours of operation off of a full charge, and will be available via certified integrators in early 2022. No price information has been shared by the creator of the CLOi ServeBot as yet – we shall see!