A store management robot developed by U.S.-based Bossa Nova Robotics. [Photo provided by LG Electronics Inc.]
South Korea’s tech giant LG Electronics Inc. that has been fostering the robot industry as one of its future growth engines said on Friday that it has invested $3 million in a robot developer in the United States, its first overseas addition in robot business.
LG Electronics invested in Bossa Nova Robotics, a leading developer of service robots based in San Francisco. The company - which was founded in 2005 - develops robots and computer visions, a technology that gives computers visual capability, as well as real-time store management robots and solutions based on artificial intelligence and big data.
Robots developed by Bossa Nova Robotics are deployed in 50 Walmart stores across the U.S. to check price tag and product label errors and track inventory. They are also used in Canada through diverse retail channel.
LG Electronics plans to enhance its robot technology development capacity through the latest investment and also seek new business opportunities.
The company has been engaged not only in independent technology development but also enhancing external partnerships such as with robot developers, startups, universities, and research institutes to groom robotics as a new mainstay.
Early this year, LG Electronics acquired 10.12 percent stake in Robotis, a Korean robot solution and educational robot developer. The company also participated in the capital increase of artificial intelligence startup Acryl in March, and of industrial-use robot manufacturer Robostar last month. Its self-developed guide robots are deployed at the Incheon International Airport.
Shares of LG Electronics ended up 0.37 percent at 82,300 won ($74.2) on Friday.
By Lee Jae-cheol and Lee Eun-joo
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