Samsung’s New Robot Will Pour You a Glass of Wine and Do the Dishes
On Monday, Samsung participated in this year's all-virtual, online-only Consumer Electronics Show (CES) with a livestream of some of its latest innovations. Its presentation focused on products that have been designed to provide "a better normal for all," and after seeing what the company has been working on, we'll just say that we may welcome our new robot overlords.
In addition to even smarter smart-fridges and a jaw-dropping 110-inch television, they also showed off a trio of "intelligent, human-centered robots," which use artificial intelligence (AI) to perform their tasks. "Among many things, your home has taken on a greater significance," Sebastian Seung, President and Head of Samsung Research, said in a statement. "But what if that home, and those technologies in it, were actually built around you?"
To answer that question, Samsung presented the JetBot 90 AI+, a vacuum cleaner equipped with LiDAR and 3D sensors to keep it from running into the furniture while it tidies up, the Bot Care robotic companion, and the Bot Handy, which can do everything from picking up dirty t-shirts to pouring a glass of wine (which we all deserve, whether or not we bother with a laundry basket anymore).
Bot Handy looks a little like somebody stacked an air purifier on a Roomba's back, but with enough AI to allow it to "see" things around the house, and comprehend not only what they are, but how it needs to handle them.
"Bot Handy uses AI to understand objects, like a glass cup or ceramic plate, taking note of their shape and materials to work as your trusted partner," Seung said during the Bot Handy's video demo. "Bot Handy can move around and do things like set the table or put away groceries. It flips the script on what a robot in your home could look like."
In a video showing its capabilities, Bot Handy carefully loads the dishwasher, drops dirty laundry into the hamper, places a fruit basket on the kitchen table, slides a single flower in a vase and—perhaps most importantly—it pours two generous glasses of red wine.
It's cool for a number of reasons (who doesn't want a robot butler), but especially because of what Bot Handy could do to assist the elderly, the vision-impaired, or those who have mobility limitations. Samsung has not given a date when it might be offered to the general public—it just says that it's "not currently available for sale"—but did say that it's showed off its stuff in "test settings."
So I guess that means we're stuck pouring our own wine a little longer. And those dishes apparently aren't going to do themselves either. Come on, Samsung!