Samsung is working on a robot that can pick up laundry, load the dishwasher, set the table, pour wine, and even bring you a drink. The robot is called Bot Handy, and Samsung says it’ll be able to recognize objects using a camera and AI.
The bot is meant to be “an extension of you in the kitchen, living room, and anywhere else you may need an extra hand in your home,” Sebastian Seung, president of Samsung Research, said during Samsung’s CES press conference today.
For now, it’s not clear how close Bot Handy is to being a real, shipping product. Samsung didn’t announce a price or release window, and the company has previously used CES to show off futuristic-looking robots that are more of a concept than a real product. The robot is described as being “in development.”
In its current form, Bot Handy is a tall, thin, black-and-white robot with two large digital eyes that change expressions as it moves around. The robot has a single arm that can pivot at three points — essentially a shoulder, elbow, and wrist — with a clamp-like hand at the end of it. There are cameras mounted on top of the robot’s body and hand for recognizing objects. The robot can move around the room on what appears to be a rolling base, swivel from side to side, and raise itself up to reach higher objects.
Samsung says the robot will be able to assess the material that different objects are made of so that it’ll grab them with the right amount of force. It’s also supposed to be able to handle objects of varying sizes, weights, and shapes.
In addition to Bot Handy, Samsung also demonstrated an updated version of Bot Care, a “robotic assistant and companion” that the company first showed off in 2019. The robot is supposed to be something of a personal assistant, reminding you to take a break from work or that you have meetings coming up. In a demo, Samsung showed the robot automatically opening up a screen so that its owner could join a video call that was about to start. Like Bot Handy, there’s no indication of how far along in development this is.
As far as actual products go, Samsung does have one robot that should ship this year. The JetBot 90 AI+ is a Roomba-esque vacuum robot equipped with LIDAR, a “3D sensor,” and AI to help it recognize objects so that it can better avoid obstacles. Samsung says the vacuum will be smart enough to get closer to objects that aren’t particularly fragile, like a kids toy, and to stay further away from something it could break, like a vase. The vacuum also has a traditional camera built in, which is meant to let you check up on pets while you’re away.
The JetBot 90 AI+ is supposed to ship in the US sometime in the first half of 2021.