During the CES (Consumer Electronics Show), Samsung surprised the audience by introducing their new real-life BB8 robot Ballie. Ballie rolled on to the stage, greeted the audience and showed off its skills on the platform which mostly include personal care.
BB8 was first introduced in Star Wars and first appeared on the show in 2015. The robot was originally created by Lawrence Kasdan. It has a spherical free moving body with a domed head and has a cute appearance with a white body, orange and silver accents and a black lens in place of an eye.
Samsung says that Ballie uses AI to be personal care for an elderly, security system, a fitness assistant and companion for your kids and old parents. It has a group of sensors to detect it’s surroundings and react proactively. The robot is capable of opening smart curtains, act as an alarm, control smart tv and even prepare coffee. Ballie can also detect if someone has fallen down and is unable to get up and call for help.
In the onstage demo, Ballie Robot was following the CEO H.S Kim on stage and track his movements using the camera. It was also responding to Kim commands and rolled into Kim’s hands when he asked it to.
In Samsung’s promotional video, they showed a more advanced version of Ballie that can someday become a better home assistant and perform all the above-mentioned activities. Samsung is not the first one to make a home assistant robot, Sony had made a robot called Aibo, which is a robot dog used for personal assistance. There was another company called Sphero who was selling the BB8 toy robot and they had to stop it because enough robots were not sold and pivoted to make robots for education.
Samsung has not given out any information on the release, cost or commercialization of Ballie Robot and it is unclear whether the robot at it’s final stage will be up to the expected level for Samsung. For now, it is a cute little robot which can give you company and basic personal assistance.
Let’s see, when’s the mini BB-8 like robot going into people’s lives? Share your thoughts on it!