While many of us expect Samsung to get up on stage and announce phones, tablets, or even TVs, the company threw us something of a curve ball tonight. During a presentation at CES 2020, Samsung announced a new robot companion named Ballie. Ballie almost looks like a real-world BB-8 from the Star Wars sequel trilogy, as it rolls along the floor and helps you with your day-to-day tasks.
During Samsung’s “Age of Experience” keynote, H.S. Kim showed us some of the things Ballie is capable of. We see it following folks around their home and acting as something of a smart home commander. For instance, when the family dog spills a bowl of food on the floor, Ballie summons a Roomba to clean it up. We also saw it opening the curtains to wake its owners up in the morning.
Kim says that Samsung has a vision of robots acting as “life companions,” and the company suggests that Ballie may do things like motivate you to work out when you’d rather not. In the video where Ballie flexed its skills, we saw it check the posture of a person doing yoga, presumably so it can ensure they don’t injure themselves.
While it’s clear that Samsung sees Ballie as the center of your smart home, it could also have certain safety applications. Samsung suggests that Ballie could call for help in the case of a medical emergency, such as when an elderly person takes a fall and can’t get up. So, Ballie could wind up having a variety of uses around the home, but first and foremost, it sounds like it’s intended to make managing the growing number of smart home devices easier.
That brief demo and video is all we’re getting concerning Ballie at the moment, with no details on when it might be available to the public or how much it’ll cost. We’ll look forward to hearing more though, so stay tuned for that.