Kyung-Cheol Shin, CEO
Have you ever comprehended the complexities involved while operating on a patient’s eye?
70 year old Father William Beaver’s story provides an elaborate answer. He talks about the pain of sustaining a membrane outgrowing on his retina’s surface as well as the reason behind his post-surgery satisfaction. The membrane that was gradually contracting was about 100-millimetre-thick and had already been declared life threatening. Even for the ophthalmologists who were treating Beaver, it was a challenge to remove the membrane and still retain the vision; operating on the membrane, in most cases, damages the retina and results in vision loss. And, little idea did anyone have about how to mitigate the risks involved in the surgery that he had to undergo. Realizing the advantages robotic surgery can bring to the table, Robert MacLaren, professor of Ophthalmology, along with Thomas Edwards, the Nuffield Medical fellow, decided to use a remote controlled robot to extract the membrane from the retina. With a single hole of less than 1 mm in diameter, the robot went in and out of the eye multiple times and successfully completed the whole process in a short time, which, otherwise, used to be an unnerving experience for the surgeons. And this was a big relief and satisfaction for the then ailing patient William, who had been battling over a prolonged period.
This goes to show that Robotic Technology has come a long way to become the centre piece in many scientific, medical and industrial fields today. With increasing demand for precision, speed and accuracy, there has been a sudden influx of robots into our everyday lives. Understanding this latent trend much ahead of time, the founders of YUJIN ROBOT incorporated the company in 1988 to research and develop industrial robots. Kyung-Cheol Shin, CEO, recalls, “We produced the assembly and inspection systems for automotive parts and semi-conductors.” Those automation systems were supplied to Motorola. But later, after the company’s R&D centre was formed in 2000, the core business area expanded from EMS to intelligent service robots. Since then, the R&D centre has been instrumental in developing new robots for education, cleaning, security & military use, and IoT related integrated logistics robots. Currently, the company sells educational and cleaning robots in the domestic and overseas markets across 30 countries.
Bringing Forth Intelligent Service Robots
We are in the midst of a revolution in the field of machine learning and artificial intelligence. Slowly but surely, most of the manual and error prone tasks are being taken over by specialized robots. Rapid innovation in robotics is also taking on the complexity in every field by the horns. One of the prominent enterprises that saw it coming more than two decades ago is YUJIN ROBOT. Kyung-Cheol Shin, illustrates, “Currently the main business of YUJIN ROBOT is intelligent service robots. The focus is on cleaning and IoT integrated logistical robotic technologies.”
The cleaning robot—iClebo—significantly improves cleaning performance. Continuous R&D efforts and technology development has ensured that the cleaning efficiency of the flagship product from the company multiplied in just few years, improving customer satisfaction to a great extent. iClebo comes with enhanced cleaning coverage with a sophisticated mapping system that brings perfect cleaning solution leaving no missing spots. The upgraded motor provides enhanced suction power and the cutting edge ‘V6 blade’ avoids getting tangled with humans and pet hair. Evolution of robotic technology over the last 10 years has been stupendous to say the least. The effects can easily be seen in the successive release of iClebo. Using high resolution cameras and sensors, the robot accurately analyses the room space, decides among various cleaning modes, adjusts suction power, and automatically charges it self when low on power.
As a result, the cleaning robot has become one of the most essential and sought after smart appliance in many modern homes and industries.
YUJIN ROBOT has also developed educational robots similar to the recent social robots like ‘Pepper’ (from SoftBank). The educational robot, named as ‘iRobi’, has already been supplied to 2000 public kindergartens to teach students as an educational assistance device. The educational robot uses voice recognition technology and delivers educational contents from the internet. It also uses autonomous navigation and mobile communication technologies to further enhance the learning experience. Educational robots provide an interactive learning platform, which is widely used by the public education system to enhance the learning experience.
YUJIN ROBOT is confident of retaining
its market share with sophisticated technology in robotics
Logistical robotic system is yet another offering from YUJIN ROBOT. Armed with an autonomous navigation system, ‘GoCart’ solves some of the most demanding logistic industry problems. The robot can be used to provide service such as delivery of meal, medication, and linen to hospital and can take care of elderly service facility. The ‘GoCart’ has a stereo camera, 3D sensors, and sonar sensors to feed it with accurate coordinates of the room space and enable it to make secure autonomous navigations and even access elevator to move floor-to-floor. The ‘GoCart’ has been successfully field tested at some of the renowned hospitals and elderly service care facilities in New Zealand and Spain. The ‘GoCart’ also provides automated delivery service between the manufacturing field and the warehouse, connecting B2C and B2B customers with ease. The EMS division of YUJIN ROBOT supplies automated production systems such as automobile parts, MEMS, and consumer electronics. It enhances safety in manufacturing process, improves quality of products, and increases overall productivity. The major customers of Electro Mechanical Systems (EMS) are mostly automobile parts and other ancillary companies, which include Hyundai Mobis and Continental.
Sitting at the Edge of Innovation
Robotics is a growing industry where new innovations hit markets almost every day, and YUJIN ROBOTICS thrives on this model of continuous innovation. Over the years, the Seoul, Korea based enterprise has served Costco, Best Buy, Miele, Hyundai Mobis, Continental, and many other big names in the industry. To outperform the growing competition, the company is leveraging the innovation from the R&D unit and rigorously commercializing its robots and services. Besides, the company is building partnerships with overseas channel partners and elite customers. Kyung-Cheol Shin comments, “Presently, YUJIN ROBOT is confident of retaining its market share with sophisticated technology in robotics” The company is spending heavily on research in automatic obstacles recognition and avoidance, and incorporating the technology into its navigation systems to further enhance the capabilities.
Robot-centered home automation with Internet of Things (IoT) remains the prime focus for YUJIN ROBOT. It plans to connect smart devices with robots so as to enhance convenience by taking care of most of the daily chores. Some of the key technologies—such as indoor autonomous navigation system—developed in-house by the company provides competitive advantage to YUJIN ROBOT and will serve as the growth engine of the company for years to come.