LG Electronics rolls out robot barista

LG Electronics employees are now able to enjoy a cup of brewed coffee prepared by a robot barista at the conglomerate’s headquarters on Yeouido, Seoul.

The CLOi BaristaBot, the “intelligent” machine, was the first to acquire a robot brewing master certificate from the Korea Coffee Association. A brewing master certificate evaluates an individual’s or now a robot’s understanding of coffee brewing tools and the skill in brewing quality coffee.

LG employees appeared to be excited about their shiny new colleague, which appears set to gradually replace the boring coffee machine sitting in the lounge.

“We used to have a coffee machine in the lounge area, but now we are able to enjoy a cup of pour over coffee made by CLOi BaristaBot,” an LG official said.

BaristaBot is not the only robot to roll off of LG’s assembly lines.

The company has made robots a key pillar of its future business ― the conglomerate has been focusing on robots that can offer everyday services, and has designed machines to work in hotels, hospitals and restaurants.

A “sterilization” robot removes bacteria using an Ultraviolet-C lamp, and will be launched in the U.S. market within the first half of the year.

In July last year, LG launched “servebot,” a robot equipped with a rack to deliver dishes of food ― a four-rack robot is able to carry up to 20 kilograms of food.

The LG CLOi servebot is able to deliver items using self-driving technology after the input of a destination.

In 2017, LG began operating a robot at Incheon International Airport, which roves around the sprawling air terminal to help visitors in need of assistance. That robot is also equipped with self-driving and obstacle-avoiding technology. It was recognized by the interior ministry in October last year for being able to safely move around, even while using elevators.

LG expects the role of robots to grow due to the pandemic, based on a growing consumer preference for services conducted remotely. The company also said robots at offices will be able to reduce the burden on employees as it substitutes for them in doing simple tasks.