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MIT Technology Review

A New Fleet of Robots Is Taking Aim at the Service Industry

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LG has announced a new generation of robots aimed at replacing service workers.

Future employers: The bots are designed for use in supermarkets, airports, and hotels to help check customers in and transport drinks and luggage. Several concept models are in a trial run at South Korea’s Incheon International Airport.

The specs: Few technical details have been released yet, but the early models appear to be shorter than humans and move on a hidden wheel base. They have a built-in digital display and are compatible with a smartphone app.

Will they take jobs? The real question is, do humans even want to interact with robots when shopping for groceries or trying to get a plane ticket changed? Robotic assistants like these will need to prove themselves useful and a sound investment, not just cute or charming little droids, in order to succeed. It is, for now at least, still a bit too soon to worry that most service jobs will be taken over by robots.