KT introduces 2 disinfection robots
KT introduced two new disinfection robots on Wednesday for use in offices and even homes.
The robots, one large and one smaller, sterilize areas using plasma technology and ultraviolet-C (UVC) lighting in a way that doesn't require people to leave the room.
Plasma refers to a superheated state of matter. KT's robots suck in the air and high temperatures kill the germs and viruses.
Existing disinfection robots typically spray liquid disinfectant in an empty room. The disinfectants can be harmful if inhaled or getting on people's skin. Plasma technology can eliminate 99.9 percent of germs or viruses without interfering with people’s routines or damaging their health, according to KT.
The robots also purify the air. They drive themselves using cameras and light detecting and ranging (Lidar) technology, and automatically go to charging stations when needed.
The robots are connected to networks that allow them to run 24 hours without human monitoring. They can be controlled via smartphone apps.
The robots go on sale next month and will retail for around 20 million won ($16,560). Leasing fees for the larger model will be around 790,000 won per month and 750,000 won for the smaller one.
The company will offer more robots this year, and is responsible for the online robot management service app, which it calls its robot service platform.
"KT is preparing to introduce delivery robots in the latter half of this year," Lee Sang-ho, Vice President of KT’s AI Robot Business Unit, said during a press conference on Wednesday.
"The company will continue its efforts to differentiate itself with mobile apps, robot platforms and service expansion."
The new business will not only be about manufacturing robots but also about providing a set of mobile services for users.
“It's our goal to make sure that KT’s robot platform caters to robots for diverse services,” Lee said.
“Ultimately, we aim to make it as easy as possible for people to use robots using a robot platform on the mobile app.”
KT's robot business unit was formed in January 2021. Since then, the company has developed robots for use in hotels, caretaking and cafes.
The local robot market is expected to grow to 2.8 trillion won by 2025, at which point 230,000 robots will be deployed in Korea, according to the KT Economics and Management Research Institute.
KT has been emphasizing new businesses, including robots, to lessen its dependence on telecommunications sector since last year.
“What’s important with robots now is not simply the device itself but the whole experience customers get through the service platform," Lee said.
“KT will continue to expand robot services that help solve problems in society and give new experiences to customers through our robot service platform.”
BY YOON SO-YEON [email@example.com]