(Source: Business World | August 27, 2018)
The local unit of Taiwan’s New Kinpo Group (NKG) is currently in talks with the largest operator of shopping malls in the country for the roll out of artificial intelligence (AI) robotic products that can assist customers.
Cal-Comp Technology (Philippines), Inc. Chief Executive Officer Simon Shen said the company is speaking with the SM Group as well as other operators of convenience stores for the supply of its New Era AI Robotics. These are smart humanoid robots which feature smart voice interactivity, facial biometrics identification, and POS systems, among others.
“Our robotics will be used in Philippine shopping malls and community stores very soon,” Mr. Shen told reporters after a tour of the company’s manufacturing facility in Batangas on Aug. 10.
“It’s going well, I think we will be implementing very soon,” he added when asked how negotiations with the Sy-led SM Group are going.
Should this deal push through, this will allow Cal-Comp Technology to introduce its products to 70 SM malls in the country.
“Most important is robotics can speak Tagalog, these were put up by Filipino engineers. So we try to put up Tagalog voice AI for their preference,” Mr. Shen said.
Representatives of the SM Group declined to make a comment on the deal.
Service robots are one of the several products under NKG’s portfolio. The company also manufactures calculators, hard disk drives, printers, consumer electronics, power management equipment, automotive, security, medical, and health care products, among others, for different international brands.
Aside from service robots, the company is also planning to launch more products under their own brands.
“We cannot compete with our customers in our current business. We are selling products only where we are not in competition with our current customer, like beauty products under the Hi Me name, the 3-D printer under the XYZ brand,” Mr. Shen said.
The introduction of more products comes alongside Cal-Comp Technology’s further expansion in the country. It plans to build two new manufacturing facilities here, in addition to its current manufacturing space covering 298,674 square meters in Lima Technology Center in Lipa, Batangas and First Philippine Industrial Park in Sto. Tomas, Batangas.
Cal-Comp Technology looks to finance this expansion through a P6.77-billion initial public offering (IPO) by the fourth quarter of this year, where it targets to sell up to 378.07 million shares.
The company will also acquire new assembly equipment and machinery, as well as more investments for research and development, through the IPO.