Kakao Mobility to offer robot delivery service with LG

APR 22, 2024

Kakao Mobility Corp., South Korea’s most popular ride-hailing app operator, will offer indoor robot delivery service with self-driving robots from LG Electronics Inc., later this week, accelerating its advance into the autonomous last-mile delivery market set to take off in the next few years.

The mobility unit of the country’s internet giant Kakao Corp. on Monday announced the launch of its robot delivery service Bring, which will officially begin service with LG Electronics CLOi ServeBot robots in NOUDIT Seoul Forest, a cultural and commercial building in Seoul, on Thursday.

LG Electronics will provide the robots, as well as the robot operating and controlling program, while Kakao Mobility will run its robot open application programming interface Bring-on that receives orders and locates available AI robots to deliver them.

The platform is developed based on Kakao Mobility’s know-how gained from operating Kakao T, Korea’s No. 1 ride-hailing app available in more than 35 countries.

The AI-powered robot delivery platform minimizes human intervention and enables robot delivery even in buildings not designed for robot maneuverability, Kakao Mobility said.

Its new robot delivery service hits the market two years after it signed an agreement with LG to jointly develop indoor and outdoor autonomous robot delivery models in 2022.

With the latest service, Kakao Mobility and LG Electronics will speed up the development of a one-stop solution for last-mile delivery set to see burgeoning demand in the next few years.

According to Hana Bank’s financial research institute, the global robot market is forecast to grow to $74.1 billion in 2026 from this year’s $54.0 billion.

Especially, the global autonomous last-mile delivery market is expected to swell to $4.2 billion in 2030 from $900 million in 2023 at a compound annual growth rate of 22.7%, according to MarketsandMarkets Research.

Boston-based Lux Research projected that about 20% of global logistics will be handled by robots in 2030.


Korea’s robot delivery market has also recently gained traction following a series of amendments in the country’s related laws for private information protection, road traffic, intelligent robot development and consumer logistics service industry development last year under the government's goal to nearly quadruple the country's robot market by 2030.

As those changes allow for the operation of outdoor self-driving robots as delivery means, more large companies are expected to join smaller rivals to compete for a bigger piece of the autonomous last-mile delivery market.

Earlier this month, Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Corp. unveiled the new version of their indoor delivery robot DAL-e Delivery, which will start distributing food and parcels within IGIS Asset Management’s building in Seongsu-dong, Seoul in the second quarter.

Hyundai Motor Group-backed autonomous robot developer Mobinn also plans to offer real robot delivery and patrol services later this year. It is developing a robot that can go up and down stairs alone.

In January, Delivery robot developers Robotis Co. and Neubility obtained safety certification for their outdoor mobile robots, preparing for commercial robot delivery and parcel services within this year.

Companies that want to operate outdoor robot delivery services must obtain safety certification from the Korean government.

With the certification, Robotis hopes to sell 1,500 units of its self-driving robots this year from 50 units last year. Its robots are already used inside apartment complexes, camping sites and parks in Korea.

Neubility also plans to offer its outdoor robot delivery service in Seoul in the first half of this year and then extend the service to other parts of the country from later this year. The startup up jointly delivered groceries with KT Corp. in select areas of Seoul last year during a test run.

LG Electronics has picked the commercial robot business as one of its next growth engines. Last month, the Korean tech giant invested $60 million in Silicon Valley-based robot-developing startup Bear Robotics.

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