At CES 2017, LG is trying hard to get people interested in smart home technology. The Korean-tech giant brought a whole lineup of robots, ranging from a tiny Alexa-powered hub to an automated lawnmower.
So what's the deal? Well, LG is invested in building products for something called the Internet of Things, or IoT. Basically, LG wants all its devices to be able to communicate with one another. And "SmartThinQ" is the umbrella protocol that all of LG's smart ovens and smart washers talk to you with, usually via your phone.
The problem is getting people to care. Sending a text to your dishwasher to turn it on is a tough sell if you have to pay more for it.
This year, LG wants to change that perception. The Hub Robot is at the forefront of the charge. It's a cute little guy with a screen for a face. Working with Amazon Alexa's voice activation system, Hub Robot can do everything Alexa can and more. Not only can it play music, read stories, and tell you the weather, Hub Robot can display information, like recipes.
Hub Robot also has tiny companions so it can cover your whole house. Where Alexa was sold heavily on its tech, Hub Robot's appeal is set in its pet-like qualities. It's about all that cute face, and the fact that it wobbles back and forth. Creating an emotional connection worked with robot vacuums, it should work here too.
Lacking a cute face is LG's other big domestic robot: an automated lawnmower. Details are scarce, but LG has a pretty good track record with robots that have to navigate in a pattern, the Korean giant made the illustrious Hom-Bot after all. Armed with LG's best sensors, you can expect the automated lawnmower to avoid shrubs, pets, and your feet.
We've been promised a robot paradise for decades, but now it seems closer than ever.