Hyundai Heavy Industries Holdings Co. said Monday it has signed an initial agreement with Naver Labs Corp., a research affiliate of South Korea’s top portal operator Naver Corp., for joint development of robots.
Under the memorandum of understanding (MOU), the robot business division of Hyundai Heavy Industries will be in charge of production, sales and quality control of robots while Naver Labs will handle research and development of necessary technologies and critical software.
Naver Labs has already developed a robot called “M1” that is capable of making detailed maps indoors, the data of which will be used in a self-driving service robot called “Around.”
Hyundai Heavy Industries Holdings said it plans to set up a new assembly line at its plant in Daegu, an industrial city located about 300 kilometers southeast of Seoul, for mass production of “M1” and “Around.”
The mass production of the two robots will cost less than about 1/10 of existing self-driving robots by minimizing the use of sensors and other expensive components, Hyundai Heavy Industries Holdings said.
The two robots could be used in airports, shopping malls, gas stations, hotels and big bookstores as well as factories, according to Hyundai Heavy Industries Holdings.