Samsung revealed a concept AI-powered robot called Ballie (pronounced Ball-E) at CES 2020. Called a life companion robot, Ballie is designed to offer personalized care by interacting with its surroundings, people, animals and connected devices.
The robot is meant for doing basic tasks around the house, although the full extent of its capabilities isn’t known at this point. Samsung’s concept video shows Ballie running around the house opening curtains, turning on the washing machine and television, sending a feed of your dog to your phone when you’re not home and turning on the vacuum when the dog spills something.
It does all this with a camera on the front and using AI to figure out what it’s seeing and what it needs to do. The ball-shaped design has two semi spheres on either side that spin and allows the ball to move and turn on the spot.
Samsung claims that Ballie’s “On-Device AI capabilities enable it to be a fitness assistant and a mobile interface that seeks solutions for people’s changing needs.” and that “It does all this while maintaining stringent data protection and privacy standards.”
There’s no word on when this product will go from concept to reality. As is usually the case with these things, the limiting factor in deciding how well it works or if it is viable at all is the AI, and while we have made good progress in that field, it’s still not good enough to integrate seamlessly in our daily lives.
In other news, Samsung has said that it will be releasing its Galaxy Home Mini speaker in early 2020. It’s not quite an AI robot but it is small and sort of round.