Tag Archives: South Korea

Autonomous Robots Take Over At South Korea’s Largest Airport

LG Robots to Deliver Expert Service for Visitors to Korea

Airport Guide Robot 01

As South Korea prepares for the largest winter sporting event in its history, LG Electronics (LG) is focusing on improving automated services at the main hub for the world’s travelers – Incheon International Airport (IIA). Starting on July 21, LG will put into trial service a number of Airport Guide Robots and Airport Cleaning Robots at the award-winning airport to assist travelers arriving and departing Korea. The Airport Guide Robot will roam the airport providing information and assistance to visitors while the Airport Cleaning Robot will be on hand to keep the floors impeccably clean.

By dispatching its robots to one of the largest and busiest airports in the world, LG will be able to provide its robotic services to approximately 57 million travelers who pass through the airport every year. While the robots are officially going into trial service today, they have been a familiar presence to frequent travelers since February, when they began beta testing at IIA. LG engineers have been fine tuning the robots for the past five months, improving their performance based on the data and experience collected during the beta test.

Equipped with LG’s voice recognition platform, the Airport Guide Robot understands four different languages – Korean, English, Chinese, and Japanese – the four most popular languages spoken at the airport, in order to provide assistance verbally. The robot can connect to the airport’s central server to provide information regarding boarding time and locations of restaurants, shops, and much more. With a quick scan of a boarding pass, the Airport Guide Robot can escort the late or lost traveler to the right departure gate on time.

The Airport Cleaning Robot takes LG HOM-BOT’s powerful cleaning performance, autonomous navigation, and object-avoidance capability and applies them to a commercial, public environment. This robot detects the areas that require the most frequent cleaning, stores those locations in its database and calculates the most efficient routes to get there.

With these airport robots, LG is demonstrating its initiative to develop and expand its commercial robot business as a future growth engine. Currently, LG’s robot business is divided into two sectors: home and commercial. LG’s home robots include the HOM-BOT vacuum cleaner and the new Hub Robot while LG’s commercial business consists of robots specially designed to provide services in public areas such as airports, hotels and banks.

“LG is dedicated to the advancement and development of its robot technologies which includes navigation, voice recognition, natural language processing, and of course, DeepThinQ,” said Song Dae-hyun, president of LG Electronics Home Appliance & Air Solutions Company. “It is this kind of effort and innovation that will drive LG forward in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

Airport Guide Robot 01

Source: LG

South Korea launches commercial IoT network

Seoul-South-Korea

SK Telecom have announced the completion of the nationwide deployment of Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN)* in South Korea based on LoRa technology; the launch of price plans for LoRa-based IoT services; and its plans to vitalize the IoT ecosystem.

The company finished building LoRaWAN across the country by end of June, six months earlier than its initial schedule, covering 99 percent of the population. By securing both nationwide LTE-M and LoRaWAN, which are two main pillars of the IoT network, SK Telecom said that it is now fully ready to create valuable business opportunities in the IoT era. The company had completed nationwide LTE-M rollout in March, 2016.

To promote the growth of the IoT market, SK Telecom plans to offer attractive price plans and develop innovative IoT services, while offering strong support for SMEs. To this end, the company will invest a total of KRW 100 billion by the end of 2017. It expects these efforts to lead to rapid expansion of the IoT industry by connecting over 4 million things to its IoT-dedicated networks by the end of 2017.

SK Telecom unveiled new price plans for LoRaWAN-based IoT services. The “Band IoT” plans come in six different tiers – i.e. from Band IoT 35 (approx. USD 0.3) priced at KRW 350 to Band IoT 200 priced at KRW 2,000(approx. USD 1.75) – depending on data use (refer to table 1) to allow SK Telecom’s customers – both enterprises and individuals – to choose one that suits the needs of their services. The Band Lora plans are highly affordable – costing merely one-tenth of SK Telecom’s LTE-based IoT services – and thus are expected to support active development and provision of diverse IoT services by easing the cost burden of startups and SMEs. The company is also offering diverse discount benefits for enterprise customers depending on their contract period and the number of lines they use.

For instance, a gas meter, which transmits relatively a small amount of data can be used by signing up for Band IoT 35, while a service that requires real-time communication like lighting control service can be used by signing up for Band IoT 200.

 

Considering the characteristics of the LPWA network, SK Telecom plans to develop services in the areas of metering, tracking and monitoring.

In the area of metering, the company is currently focusing on Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI)*, which enables the utilities companies to not only accurately measure/monitor usage but also control the metering devices. SK Telecom has been conducting a pilot project on AMI with SK E&S since November 2015, and plans to expand the service coverage to more regions of the country in July 2016. Going forward, the company will launch AMI services for other utilities including water and electricity.

* Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) is an architecture for automated, two-way communication between a smart utility meter with an IP address and a utility company. AMI is expected to enhance user convenience and safety through its sophisticated remote metering & control features as well as automatic safety capabilities.

SK Telecom is also developing in tracking services to identify and track the location of vehicles, people/things, and assets. In cooperation with the local governments, the company plans to launch “Safe Watch,” a wearable designed to enhance the safety of children and the elderly in July 2016.

Moreover, SK Telecom will offer monitoring services capable of controlling and managing manufacturing/public/commercial facilities. For instance, monitoring service for a company that has a large-scale production facility will ensure that the equipment within the facility are operated in an optimal manner and the production environment is kept safe at all times. Environmental monitoring of CO2 concentration, temperature/humidity, as well as hazardous substances – e.g., measuring concentration levels of radon in the atmosphere and soil – can also be provided. In August 2016, SK Telecom will start an environmental monitoring service at Changjo (Creative) Village in Sejong.

Furthermore, the company plans to launch a total of 20 LoRa-based IoT services by the end of 2016, including a manhole monitoring service (in September) and a real-time shared parking service (in October).

Besides developing and launching IoT services of its own, SK Telecom will be making multifaceted efforts to vitalize the IoT ecosystem by encouraging the participation of developers, SMEs and startups. To this end, the company plans to set up a comprehensive program named ‘Partner Hub Program’ to nurture partners. Through the program, SK Telecom will share its expertise and knowhow, provide training and conduct joint development/ marketing.

To support the development of IoT services and devices, SK Telecom will create a space called ‘IoT Open Testbed’ for SMEs and startups at its Bundang Building to offer a one-stop development environment – which encompasses network, device and platform – for IoT services. At IoT Open Testbed, SMEs and startups will be able to verify their IoT devices, carry out tests to check interworking between their device and the IoT network/platform, and receive technical/service consultation.

SK Telecom also began providing LoRa modules free of charge on July 1, 2016. Aimed at facilitating the development and launch of LoRa services, the company will provide a total of 100,000 units of LoRa modules for free. Also, the low cost of the LoRa module – which is just one-fifth of that of an existing LTE module – will contribute to the development of the wide variety of IoT devices.

“SK Telecom is proud to announce the nationwide deployment of LoRaWAN as it marks the first important step towards realizing connectivity between infinite number of things, going beyond the traditional role of telecommunications centered on connectivity between people,” said Lee Hyung-hee, President of Mobile Network Business at SK Telecom. “Going forward, SK Telecom will develop and offer a wide variety of IoT services designed to offer new value for customers, while working closely with partners including SMEs and startups to vitalize the IoT ecosystem.”

Source: SK Telecom

South Korea rolls out LTE Drones for First Responders

drones

KT Corporation has unveiled technologies that are part of a public safety project to enable fire, police and rescue responders to better communicate with each other using everday devices.

South Korean telco KT Corperation on Tuesday demonstrated new technologies engineered to better respond to disasters or public safety crises in remote areas, including a mobile network server that can deliver LTE coverage mounted from a backpack.

In Pyeongchang in the country’s Gangwon Province, the telco demonstrated the LTE Backpack, a lightweight network mini-base station designed to be deployed on the fly and in remote areas, such as at sea or in the mountains; along with its Drone LTE, specially armed with telecom modules as well as video and thermal cameras to facilitate search and rescue operations by first responders.

The LTE drone and backpack were displayed as part of a multi-billion dollar emergency communications infrastructure project dubbed Public Safety LTE, which will enable fire, police and rescue responders to better communicate with each other using everyday devices.

The technologies can be effectively used for search and rescue operations because they work together using the emergency IT infrastructure, according to Oh Sung-mok, KT network division head and company vice president.

South Korea is in the process of building a national public safety network to be used by the military, police, fire department, transportation department and other agencies — a project worth 2 trillion won ($1.74 billion) tentatively projected to roll out next year. The project became prioritised after the Sewol disaster last year, in which over 300 people died after a ferry capsized. The heavy casualty was blamed on late responses.

KT and SK Telecom were officially chosen to participate in the project, while handset makers Samsung and Pantech are also in talks to supply specially made devices that will be a boon to their enterprise businesses.

KT will also deploy its “Triple GiGA Network” of satellite, fiber optics, and microwave technology to make sure the communication links stay connected in case one or two of them malfunction. “KT can contribute to making the nation safer by leveraging KT’s LTE network technology,” Oh said in a statement.

The telco also teamed up with local handset makers and other companies to roll out smartphones and walkie-talkies running on the public safety networks.

Source: Philip Iglauer-ZDNET