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Technology Samsung's new robots at CES 2021 help around the house and act as your assistant

16:40  11 january  2021
16:40  11 january  2021 Source:   cnet.com

Samsung's busy 2021 starts with an early Unpacked … and new gadgets

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Samsung closed its CES 2021 press conference by sharing more on the brand’ s vision for how technology can enable progress and create a better tomorrow for all. Samsung believes that there is no single all-encompassing solution; a sustainable future requires investments across a broad spectrum.

Its yellow tennis ball-like robot named Ballie acts as your personal assistant around the house . Also for the living room, Samsung showed a live demo of its new GEMS platform that, with the help of augmented reality glasses, provides artificial intelligence fitness programs from a virtual workout couch.

It wouldn't be CES without some new Samsung robots . The company on Monday at its virtual press conference showed off three new Bots to help pick up items around the house and act as personal assistants. And one of those, a smart vacuum that also doubles as a security camera, will be available in the US in the first half of the year.

a man standing in front of a mirror posing for the camera: H.S. Kim, the head of Samsung's electronics business, shows off the company's Ballie robot at CES 2020. James Martin/CNET © Provided by CNET H.S. Kim, the head of Samsung's electronics business, shows off the company's Ballie robot at CES 2020. James Martin/CNET

Unlike previous CES press conferences, Samsung's event Monday focused on bigger picture technology than listing dozens of new products. That included the importance of AI to all of Samsung's products, whether the technology is obvious to users or runs in the background. The head of Samsung Research, Sebastian Seung, hosted the press conference instead of the CEO of the company's electronics business.

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Samsung is expected to launch three new Galaxy S devices at Thursday's event. Samsung ' s major push with AI in its devices has revolved around its Bixby voice assistant , which first Samsung could use its CES 2021 press conference to show off more robots even though it would be better served

© Provided by CNET Samsung may get rid of its Note lineup as it expands its foldables in 2021 . Angela Lang/CNET. After a crazy 2020, this new year could be one of Samsung ' s busiest yet. To take advantage of the opportunity 2021 brings, the South Korean company needs to be bolder to regain its

"Our world looks different, and many of you have been faced with a new reality -- one where, among other things, your home has taken on a greater significance," Seung said. "Our innovations are designed to provide more personal and more intuitive experiences that express your personality. We're hard at work to bring you next-generation innovation, with AI as the core enabler, for your better tomorrow."

Like nearly all major technology companies, Samsung is making a big push in artificial intelligence. The technology, which gives devices some ability to act on their own, is seen as the next big wave of computing, the way we'll interact with our gadgets in the future. Instead of swiping on our phone screens, we'll talk to our devices or to ever-listening microphones around our homes and offices. The ultimate promise for the AI is to predict what you want before you even ask, though most smart assistants aren't that smart yet.

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Samsung introduced a tiny new robotic assistant called Ballie at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas Meet Ballie: Samsung unveils tiny wheeled robot that follows you around and acts as your personal fitness AI The bot could even keep pets company while the owner is out of the house .

Samsung ' s vision of robots as "life companions" is a tiny, ball-shaped AI device that rolls around the house and responds to its user's needs. Unveiled on 6 January 2020 at the Consumer Electronics Show ( CES ) in Las Vegas, Samsung ' s small, yellow Ballie robot is designed to act as a personal

Samsung unveiled its new Bot Care (left) and Bot Handy robots during its CES 2021 press conference. Samsung © Provided by CNET Samsung unveiled its new Bot Care (left) and Bot Handy robots during its CES 2021 press conference. Samsung

Rather than putting its Bixby voice assistant at the forefront of its technology, Samsung over the past couple of years has instead used AI in the background of its products. It has washing machines that optimize water usage, smartphone cameras that improve photos and videos, and TVs that can upscale HD content into "pristine" 8K resolution. But Samsung also has developed robots.

AI is "about being more personal and predictive," Seung said during Monday's virtual press conference. "It's about benefiting you every day by being a core part of the products and services you enjoy. AI is a transformational technology. When AI is involved, it creates something entirely new."

That includes the JetBot AI Plus robot vacuum, Bot Care personal assistant robot and Bot Handy robot that can clean up messes and move things around a house.

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CES 2021 will be very different from previous years. With no opportunities to meet spectators on the show floor due to the show being staged as a With the COVID-19 pandemic still raging around the world, it' s no surprise that this year at CES several companies are planning to show off robots that

Change it here DW.COM has chosen English as your language setting. Who could manage a move into the virtual world if not the CES . Apart from the Las Vegas event moving online amid the pandemic this year, another change appears to be that tech products take a back seat to tech policy.

At CES 2019, Samsung showed off four different types of robots for consumers. That included its Bot Air for air purification, Bot Care for health monitoring, Bot Retail for restaurants and shops, and GEMS (Gait Enhancing and Motivating System) to help people with mobility issues. At the time, Samsung said the robots were just research. It didn't have a timeline for when it would launch them. Later that same year, it showed off its Bot Chef that can help home cooks prep ingredients and cook meals.

Samsung unveiled its new Bot Care (left) and Bot Handy robots during its CES 2021 press conference. © Samsung

Samsung unveiled its new Bot Care (left) and Bot Handy robots during its CES 2021 press conference.

At last year's CES, the company introduced Ballie, a tennis ball-like "life companion" robot. The small, bright yellow, rolling robot followed co-CEO H.S. Kim around the keynote stage and responded to his commands. Ballie "understands you, supports you and reacts to your needs to be actively helpful around the house," Samsung said. Like Samsung's other futuristic robots, Ballie has no release date.

Soon vacuuming a home near you?

Samsung on Monday did show off one robot that could soon appear in homes across the US. The company's JetBot 90 AI Plus, arriving in the US in the first half of the year, looks like a normal round robot vacuum, but it has improved smarts to better clean a home.

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The device uses object recognition technology to identify and classify objects to decide the best cleaning path. Lidar and 3D sensors -- the same sort of technology that powers self-driving cars -- let the JetBot avoid cables and small objects. Users can set no-go zones and monitor the JetBot's progress using their mobile devices. The vacuum even empties its own bin at its charging station, removing the need for users to clean the robot itself as often. And the JetBot has a camera that lets it moonlight as a home monitoring device when paired with Samsung's SmartThings app.

"When the robot stops somewhere, you can use your mobile device and get a live stream of what it's seeing," Rich Leonarz, direct of product marketing for Samsung Electronics America's small home appliances , said during a briefing with reporters ahead of the news. "Maybe not today when we're working from home and at home so often, but think about when you go on vacation, even business meetings. Now you can have a robot at home, that's actually your sentry."

Samsung's other new Bots

Along with the JetBot AI Plus were several other Bots that are more futuristic. Samsung's new Bot Care, similar to what it showed two years ago, uses AI to recognize and respond to your behavior. It can ask as both a robotic assistant and companion. The Bot Care can learn your schedule and habits and send you reminders as you go about your day.

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The robot shown Monday looks similar to Pixar's Wall-E character. The Bot Care has a white, trash can-like body with wheels and a slender neck that elevates the machine's head. The head has a digital screen on its front, letting eyes and other icons flash across the display, while a tablet-like monitor opens from the top of the head for video chats (with real people, not the Bot Care).

The Samsung Bot Handy was designed to be an extra hand around the house. It uses AI to recognize and pick up objects of different sizes, shapes and weights, and it can tell the difference between the material composition of various objects. The knowledge lets the Samsung Bot Handy calculate the right amount of force to grab and move household items and objects. It can help do things like clean up messy rooms or sort dishes after a meal.

Like the Bot Care, the body of the machine is a white finish with a black display on the front that can show eyes that blink and make the robot seem more lifelike. Protruduing from the left side of the robot's body is a single arm with hinges in the Bot Handy's armpit, elbow, wrist and robot hands. The Bot handy can make itself taller or shorter, and its claw hands are capable of doing tasks like pouring a glass of wine, putting dirty dishes in a dishwasher or placing a flower in a vase.

And Samsung continues to streamline its Bot Retail for shopping environments and its GEMs exoskeleton mobility aide.

"These innovations allow robots and robotic devices to co-exist with humans, enhancing their lives and catering to a variety of lifestyles and different environments," Samsung said in a press release.

Jana Kramer: A Day in My Life .
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