Cute and friendly, the Hyundai DAL-e robot may be a feature in more showrooms if the COVID-19 crisis continues for too long or we have to deal with another pandemic in the near future.

    Developed by the Hyundai Motor Group, DAL-e interacts via speech recognition and an interactive touchscreen on the top of its head. There are also displays on the robot’s face and chest.

    The robot’s body and facial expressions are purposely designed to be cute and friendly, so customers aren’t put off by engaging with a machine instead of a person.

    Standing 1160mm tall, 600mm wide and 600mm deep, and weighing 80kg, the robotic customer service rep moves around the showroom on four omnidirectional wheels and uses its arms to gesture.

    It can guide customers to designated waiting spots, provide information about the automaker’s vehicles and services, and can even pose for selfies.

    Thanks to its facial recognition technology, it can spot people who aren’t wearing a mask and politely instructs them to cover their face.

    According to the company, the robot has already been trialled at an exhibition hall. There it helped to ease the workflow for staff, especially during peak periods on the weekend.

    It also assisted with customers who wanted to avoid or minimise contact with other people during the pandemic.

    DAL-e is currently being tested at a Hyundai showroom in the south of Seoul. If successful, the pilot project will be rolled out to other Hyundai and Kia dealerships across South Korea.

    No word if Hyundai is going to trial DAL-e in other regions like Europe and the US, which have been harder hit by the Coronavirus pandemic.

    MORE: Everything Hyundai

    Derek Fung

    Derek Fung would love to tell you about his multiple degrees, but he's too busy writing up some news right now. In his spare time Derek loves chasing automotive rabbits down the hole. Based in New York, New York, Derek loves to travel and is very much a window not an aisle person.

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