SEOUL -- LG Electronics will deploy some 12,000 of its third-generation service robots to golf clubs in Southeast Asian countries for the next two years through a cooperation partnership with a Seoul-based golf service platform operator.
South Korea's service robot market which stood at 857.7 billion won ($653.3 million) in 2022 is growing at an annual average growth rate of about 30 percent, according to the Korea Association of Robot Industry. It is common to see service robots carry food and drinks inside busy restaurants in South Korea. Delivery robots carry hot coffee and tea up and down floors using elevators.
LG Electronics is focusing on the development of service robots. The company deployed Cloi robots to Incheon International Airport, South Korea's main gateway, in 2017, to provide information services and directions for visitors to the gigantic facility. Cloi robots capable of carrying up to 20 kilograms (44 pounds) of drinks, food, and medicine, made their commercial debut at Seoul National University Hospital in 2020 to minimize human-to-human contact during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Service robots are favored by small and medium-sized business operators because they can be rented through subscription programs for as little as about 350,000 won ($266) per month while it would cost at least 2,000,000 won to hire a human server who works from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Many service robots can verbally interact with customers to receive orders. Restaurant and coffee shop owners also find service robots attractive because they can safely navigate through crowded shops to carry hot food to customers' tables.
LG Electronics said that the company forged a supply deal with Smartscore, a golf service platform operator, to provide some 1,200 Cloi service robots to golf clubs located in Southeast Asian countries. The tech giant did not disclose much information but said that the deal is worth about 28 billion won.
Smartscore will use LG's Cloi robots as a bridgehead into the Southeast Asian golf market. The robots will roam about the clubhouse and help guests check in and out of golf clubs and golf hotels. The robots will also help players check their scores and help golf club stores sell merchandise such as apparel and drinks.
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