Alexa isn’t done invading the smart home at CES just yet, as LG has revealed a cute little butler dubbed the LG Hub Robot – and it packs Amazon’s AI inside.
LG is calling the Hub Robot an ‘intelligent home assistant’, but at its most basic it’s essentially an Amazon Echo with a screen and a little more personality.
Much like the cutesy Jibo robot unveiled two years ago, the LG Hub Robot has an animated face and can swivel to look at whoever is talking to it. That makes it a little more personal than the standard Amazon Echo, which only shines a light in the person’s direction when it is listening.
As Alexa is built into the LG Hub Robot it can do just about everything one would expect an Amazon Echo to do. It can play music, look up the weather, answer questions and even control smart home devices – but LG has taken it a step further.
Unlike some other devices which pack Alexa, this isn’t a pure experience. Instead LG has simply integrated Alexa inside its own operating system and as such has also given the Hub Robot the ability to control a number of the company’s appliances. That means users can preheat an LG oven, turn on the robotic vacuum cleaner and schedule the autonomous lawn mower using this cute little robot.
It’s unlikely that the Hub Robot will undercut the Amazon Echo in terms of pricing, so it may be a little bit more niche than the retail giant’s own offering. Despite that, LG is feeling rather bullish about its robot companion – offering two different models to suit every scenario. A large version is designed as the central hub, while mini Hub Robots can be placed in every room – much like the Echo Dot.
For those who have kitted out their entire homes with LG equipment, then this robot could be a no-brainer. For everyone else, then it’s likely that an Amazon Echo or Google Home will be a little more useful.