LG's robot ‘CLOi’ caught a case of shyness when her performance mattered most.
LG's robot ‘CLOi’ caught a case of shyness when her performance mattered most.

LG’s new smart robot ‘CLOi’ throws onstage tantrum

THEY say never work with kids or animals. And LG might feel like adding 'robots' to that list after a cute-looking new bot named 'CLOi' stole the show for all the wrong reasons at the electronics giant's press conference at CES 2018 in Las Vegas today.

The adorable little white robot with a black circular face and blinking blue eyes was touted as LG's answer to other competitor products that will help make homes smarter in 2018 - allowing you to talk to the robot to control other devices in the home.

But she threw a major robot tantrum in front of hundreds of media during a live demonstration with LG Electronics USA's Vice President of marketing David VanderWaal.

She started off strong, showing CLOi can help transform the laundry by learning schedules and powering up the washer to 'sports' mode after Mr VanderWaal told her he was headed to the gym.

Then it all went down in flames.

"CLOi, am I ready on my washer cycle?," Mr VanderWaal asked.

No answer.

It appeared CLOi had a case of stage fright.

LGs David VanderWaal with IP Park, Google’s Scott Huffman and LGs TV guru Tim Alessi pose with CLOi after her trainwreck behaviour at the Las Vegas press conference. Photo: Tanya Westthorp
LGs David VanderWaal with IP Park, Google’s Scott Huffman and LGs TV guru Tim Alessi pose with CLOi after her trainwreck behaviour at the Las Vegas press conference. Photo: Tanya Westthorp

But like a pro, Mr VanderWaal brushed it off as 'even robots have bad days' and powered on to his next demonstration in the kitchen display.

"CLOi, what's for dinner tonight?," he asked, expecting the little bot to make a stack of delicious suggestions and serve up some recipes.

Again, no answer.

CLOi's silence was deafening.

"CLOi is not going to talk to me and doesn't like me," Mr VanderWaal said as the crowd laughed awkwardly.

He gave it one last try.

"CLOi, are you talking to me yet? What recipes can I make?"

Again, no response.

Mr VanderWaal rolled with it and moved on but it's fair to say CLOi isn't his favourite little robot at the moment.

LG also revealed concept robots designed to serve breakfast and check in guests at hotels plus a shopping cart robot that scans barcodes. Photo: Tanya Westthorp
LG also revealed concept robots designed to serve breakfast and check in guests at hotels plus a shopping cart robot that scans barcodes. Photo: Tanya Westthorp

CLOi is part of LG's big push into artificial intelligence where it also revealed its new AI brand ThinQ which will be integrated into LG products including its OLED TVs in 2018.

It promises to 'learn and evolve' to the specific user, doing things like identifying what temperature to set the air conditioner, robotic vacuums will learn the people and pets in the home, and ThinQ will even learn a driver's facial expressions in the car and alert them when they appear drowsy.

"It can communicate with your refrigerator to see if you need groceries after work," LG Electronics President I P Park told the crowd.

"The garage door will open when you arrive home."

He said ThinQ's other major element was its 'openness' to work and connect with other third party products in an 'open ecosystem'

"The world has become too complex for products to operate on closed platforms," he said.

LG showed how ThinQ can make life easier via its OLED TV, showing it can identify actors on screen and serve up movies featuring them, pull up sport scores, give weather forecasts and even dim the living room lights.

LG will also collaborate with Google assistant, allowing consumers do things like order pizza via their TV.

Improvements to its popular OLED TV were also announced, largely around improved image processing and sound.

And a partnership with TripAdvisor was announced to expand content options when the TV is in 'gallery mode'.



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