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CES2021: Samsung 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.
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.
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 has a white finish with a black display on the front that can show eyes that blink and make the robot seem more lifelike. Protruding 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.