January 13, 2021 report
Samsung robot feeds you and helps with the laundry
AI is making stunning inroads in the fields of medicine and science. It is helping to cure disease, combat global warming, grow crops and provide cleaner, cheaper energy.
But can it do the laundry?
Samsung answered that question at the online CES convention this week.
The Seoul-based tech giant reported that it is working on three robots that will serve as a personal assistant and tackle a variety of tasks around the home. One, the Bot Handy, will help you sort laundry.
The Bot Handy has a single arm and three pivot points allowing enough flexibility to grasp, carry and position items as delicate as dishes. It has cameras that with the assistance of AI can recognize objects and handle them accordingly. Its ability to detect the material of objects held ensure the correct force will be used to secure them in its grasp and carry them to a destination. It will detect, list and help sort laundry. It can even pour a glass of wine and bring it to you after a hard day at work.
"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," said Sebastian Seung, president and head of Samsung Research "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."
The robot's elongated "face" has two eyes that close or expand to convey emotion. A rolling base enables it to move seamlessly around a room. It conveniently can raise itself to place objects on the top shelf of a closet.
The robot is an effort to tailor AI more specifically to the needs of consumers, according to Seung.
"Among many things, your home has taken on a greater significance," he said. "But what if that home, and those technologies in it, were actually built around you? At Samsung, we're finding ways to do just that.
A second robot was unveiled at the CES show, held virtually because of the pandemic. Bot Care was designed "to take care of the little details of your life," according to Seung.
Acting as an assistant and companion, the Bot Handy was shown in a demonstration video chatting with its human companion. At one point, Bot Handy calculates that the person had been on her computer for a long time and needed a break. It later noted the time and advised her of an upcoming meeting, rolling up to her and flipping open a built-in display screen to prepare for a video conference call.
Samsung released no details about when or if these models will be available to the public. No information about pricing was available.
A third bot that is expected to be available the first half of this year is the JetBot 90 AI+, a smart vacuum cleaner. Equipped with LiDAR, laser-based technology that enables precision 3-D mapping, the Jet Bot 90 AI+ can do superior job detecting objects in its path, avoiding fragile items such as vases while getting closer to sturdier ones.
As Samsung president and CEO Hyunsuk Kim said at last year's CES convention, this new crop of friendlier, practical robots are an extension of the company's philosophy that focuses on "human-centered innovation."
"In the age of experience, we need to re-think the space we have to accommodate our diverse and evolving lifestyles," said Kim.
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