LG Electronics partners with CJ’s franchise restaurant wing to develop food robots

SEOUL, AJU - LG Electronics has forged a partnership with CJ Foodville, the franchise restaurant wing of South Korean entertainment and food conglomerate CJ, to develop a lineup of food robots that would help workers and reduce their workload at restaurants like Flippy, a patty-flipping robot used by an American burger chain.

The global food robot market will reach $2.5 billion by 2022, according to Markets and Markets, a market research company. Flippy, developed by U.S.-based company Miso Robot, made its grand debut inside the kitchen of Caliburger in March 2018. The burger robot can flip and cook 300 patties a day.

LG said in a statement Thursday that it signed a memorandum of understanding with CJ Foodville to jointly develop food robots that would be deployed in CJ Foodville’s franchise stores. The test operation would begin this year. CJ Foodville is South Korea’s largest food giant which operates popular brands such as VIPS, a family restaurant brand, and Tous Les Jours, a French-style bakery brand.

“If robots take over the hard repetitive work, human employees will be able to provide more valuable services to customers,” LG’s robotics business head Roh Jin-seo was quoted as saying. In 2018, LG, which nurtures robot-related businesses as one of its vital future growth engines, made a strategic investment in Bossa Nova Robotics, a San Francisco-based startup that creates retail robots.

LG has introduced a range of commercial robots such as “CLOi SuitBot”, a wearable robot that helps its wearer to lift heavy loads with ease, and artificial intelligence)-based service robots such as a cleaning robot and guide robot deployed at Incheon International Airport, South Korea’s main gateway.

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