Samsung just showed off a ball-shaped robot companion and unlikely fitness coach to get buyers in shape (hey, round is a shape, right?) called Ballie at CES 2020. It uses AI to try and offer help when you need it around the house, according to the company. Well, some help — its lack of limbs means it won't be doing the vacuuming any time soon.
During the live demo, Samsung showed Ballie playing follow and coming when called. It's also designed to recognize if you fall and can't get up, or help encourage you through a workout.
LG did it first, but it didn't take off –– LG had it's own rolling home robot, fittingly but unimaginatively called "The Rolling Bot" that it showed off back in February 2016. LG's version never took off, so it remains to be seen if Samsung's attempt can fare any better.
According to Samsung, the future of personized care is AI, and on-device AI in particular. That's right, Ballie's all about on-device AI. But will it be able to distinguish between a fall and a nap on the carpet? We'll have to test one out to find out.
We don't have pricing or availability info for Ballie yet, but whatever the price, it's going to be lower than a pedigree corgie, we suspect. But we fear Ballie's not as much fun at the park, and won't get as many compliments on its bum.