Samsung Ballie: Do you remember Ballie, the spherical house robot that Samsung introduced at CES 2020? Until Samsung brought it back at this year’s presentation with a few AI advancements that are appropriate for the current trend, I certainly did not.
The new and better Ballie, which Samsung demonstrated during its press conference at CES 2024 in Las Vegas today, is around the size of a bowling ball and comes equipped with a battery that is meant to last for two to three hours. The robot known as Ballie is equipped with a spatial lidar sensor that assists it in navigating rooms and obstacles. Additionally, it is equipped with a 1080p projector that has two lenses, which enables it to show movies and video chats and even serve as a second monitor for a personal computer.
Utilize [Ballie] to project images and stream material on walls, and it has the capability to automatically adapt the picture based on the distance between the wall and the lighting conditions,” Samsung states in a press statement. It has the ability to automatically identify people’s posture and face angle, and it can modify the projection angle to get the best possible results for you.
Voice instructions or, more intriguingly, requests submitted by text message can be used to manage Ballie. For example, “play a movie on the nearest wall” is one example of a text message request. It is possible that in the latter scenario, Ballie would answer with the assistance of a chatbot in order to verify requests before taking any action.
Ballie, like other house robots in its category, is able to automatically switch on smart lights and, furthermore, “non-smart” gadgets such as air conditioners and older televisions. This is made possible via an infrared transmitter that is incorporated inside the device. In addition, the robot is able to create a floor layout, which allows it to determine the possible locations of smart devices within a house.
The company Samsung is promising a great deal more than these fundamentals, such as the ability to get remote medical services (for elderly members of the home), automatic reminders to water plants around the house, and customization based on who the robot detects in the immediate vicinity. In the news announcement, Samsung continues by saying, “[Ballie] is able to detect and analyze its surroundings and learn recurring user patterns thanks to its built-in front and rear cameras.”
The particulars of these, however, as well as the availability of Ballie and the cost of her services, have not yet been finalized.
The issue that has to be answered is whether or not any of these characteristics will convince homeowners to purchase Ballie when it finally hits the market. As the current attempt by Amazon demonstrates, home robots have never been a slam dunk solution. An additional promising attempt that occurred during the past several years was Mayfield Robotics, which had the intention of selling a house robot in collaboration with Bosch. However, the company discontinued operations before deploying a single device to early customers.
Samsung could have a higher chance of success. For now, we will have to wait and see.