LG, one of the world’s largest electronics companies, is reported to have invested $90 million in robotics companies so far and says robotics is an important part of its strategy going forward.
According to a report on the International Business Times website, LG’s investments include a $3 million stake in Bossa Nova Robotics, which builds shelf-scanning robots for work in grocery stores.
And as quoted by IBT, a senior executive at LG said the company was investing in robotics both within its business operation as well as outside the company.
Kim Sungwook, LG Electronics vice president, global open innovation division, said: “Robotics, as a key component of our ThinQ AI strategy, is a critical future growth opportunity for LG.
“LG is committed to expanding its robotics capabilities through investments in innovative partners as well as intense R and D efforts from within.”
LG has already launched a number of robots, mostly for the home, and its robotic vacuum cleaner is said to be doing well.
It would seem the robotics market is diversifying and companies such as LG – which generate massive revenues in other business sectors – are developing a variety of products.
Established makers of industrial robotic arms, such as Kuka, are also diversifying into new areas. Kuka recently launched a new robot concept it calls “I-Do” (pictured below), which is configurable to do a variety to do a variety of different things, mostly around the house.
Kuka’s I-Do robot looks vaguely like one of the robots offered by LG, although the Kuka one would seem to have more peripherals available and can be configured for a variety of purposes, whereas the LG seems less versatile.
We may be wrong about this, but it will be interesting to see how these companies compete in the markets that they themselves seem to be creating where there really isn’t much of a market to speak of at the moment.