SEOUL -- In an effort to diversify its business portfolio, Hyundai Robotics, a major industrial robot maker affiliated with South Korea's top shipbuilding group, joined hands with a domestic construction company to develop robots specialized in construction sites.
Hyundai Engineering & Construction (Hyundai E&C) said that it signed a memorandum of understanding with Hyundai Robotics to combine their technologies for the development of industrial robots that would be used to drill holes for anchoring, paint, weld and stack construction materials. Anchoring is needed to attach temporary elevator shafts and scaffolding on the exterior of buildings.
"Through this cooperation, we will expand the application of robot solutions to manufacturing, logistics and construction," Hyundai Robotics' managing director Yoon Dae-gyu said in a statement. "In line with the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, we will continue to upgrade robots in the construction sector based on the expertise of each company."
Along with robots that help construction works, the two companies will upgrade simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) technology to a three-dimensional base. SLAM technology allows robots to autonomously maneuver around obstacles to reach their destination. If it is based on a three-dimension map, it can navigate up and down stories using elevators.
Hyundai Robotics that focused on the production of industrial robots at car factories has ventured into the rapidly growing construction robot industry. Hyundai E&C and Hyundai Robotics would consider developing mobile service robots for the delivery of parcels in apartments and offices.
In June, Hyundai Robotics agreed with KT, a top telecom company in South Korea, to develop service robots that are used in hotels and restaurants. For intelligent robots and self-driving algorithms, Hyundai Robotics will develop hardware while KT will develop and apply operating software.
In a showcase event on May 15, Hyundai Robotics' first mobile service robot, UNI, demonstrated voice responses and automatic driving through spatial mapping as well as user-friendly functions, such as text message delivery and voice guidance. UNI will be applied to hotel delivery and other services such as office guidance, security and air purifying.
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