Hyundai said in a statement on January 25 that the robot named "DAL-e" was introduced as part of a non-face-to-face marketing approach. And what's more, if it notices that a customer isn't wearing a mask as they enter the store, it will advise them to put one on.
"The DAL-e is a next-generation service platform that can offer automated customer services anytime", says Hyundai robotics head Dong Jin Hyun.
The DAL-e stands a little over 45 inches tall and weighs just 176 pounds, making it relatively easy to integrate into an existing dealership.
The robot is s equipped with state-of-the-art artificial intelligence technology for facial recognition as well as an automatic communication system based on a language-comprehension platform.
Customer service staff may be a thing of the past if the DAL-e is a vision of the future. At a time when coronavirus pandemic has reduced footfall in auto showrooms, this robot will provide a contact-free environment.
The DAL-e can also move around, potentially accompanying customers around the showroom, thanks to four omnidirectional wheels. As well as communicating with the robot by voice, users can also interact with DAL-e via a touchscreen.
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He added: 'Our objective is to enable the DAL-e to engage in a smooth and entertaining communication with customers and present valuable services to them'.
Facial recognition lets DAL-e identify specific people, and it has been specially created to understand natural language, in order to respond to all kinds of requests.
A robot will be tested at a Hyundai Motor dealership in Songpa District in southern Seoul for a month and could be rolled out at other Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors locations if successful.
As for its communication ability, the company says it can engage in an automated and smooth dialogue with customers by "providing useful information on products and services and responding to verbal and screen touch commands". It can also entertain customers in a number of ways, such as such as connecting wirelessly to a large display screen in the venue, asking visitors to take photos with it, and providing gestured feedback using its movable arms.
Finally, Hyundai Motor Group plans to constantly update Hyundai DAL-e based on data from pilot operations and to ideal its operational capabilities as an advanced android robot.