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Samsung Ballie robot returns as an AI projector, smart home controller and dog monitor

Samsung has reintroduced its Ballie robot at CES 2024 and this time it’s artificially intelligent. The upgrade doesn’t take on human form, but retains the bowling ball-like shape of its 2020 predecessor and will actually go on sale later this year.

There’s now a 1080p projector with a pair of lenses that enable you to watch movies, take video calls, enjoy fitness classes, or even provide an extra display for your PC. All this while determining where to place the image on the wall to suit your current posture.

“Use Ballie to project images and stream content on walls, and it can automatically adjust the picture based on the wall distance and lighting conditions,” a Samsung press release says. “It can automatically detect people’s posture and facial angle and adjust the optimal projection angle for you.”

So, if you’re working out, it’ll switch the projection to the ceiling to match your sit-up posture.

Samsung Ballie 2024 robot workout

There are LiDAR sensors, which should allow Ballie (named after the cute Pixar character Wall-E) to navigate your home without smashing into stuff.

As with all of Samsung’s CES 2024 announcements, there’s a heavy presence of AI. You’ll be able to use voice commands and send text messages to interact with a chatbot.

For example, you can ask it to “play a movie on the nearest wall” or you can say “follow me to the study, I’ve got to make a video call”.

As displayed in Samsung’s video previewing the robot (above), Ballie is also a big help for interacting with smart devices throughout the home. It’ll handle your smart lights, curtains, television, and other devices you have around the house. Even non-smart devices can be controlled thanks to a built-in IR transmitter.

If you tell it you’re going to sleep, it’ll enable your smart home’s bedtime routine (lights, temperature, locks, etc.) and it’ll do the same in reverse as it syncs with your morning alarm.

You can also ask it to feed the dog, while monitoring the dog’s activity while you’re out of the home. If your dog is tearing up the pillows in your living room, Ballie will send you a video of the offence. It can “feed Copper some snacks and play his favourite video” in order to distract him from the destruction. Those snacks will be dropped from a smart feeder, thanks to the robot’s intervention.

Samsung says Ballie will have a 2-3 hour battery life, so presumably it’ll return to some sort of dock like a vacuum cleaner in order to be useful whenever you need it to police your bored, home alone pupper.

While Samsung is saying Ballie will be available this year, there aren’t yet specifics on the price or release date.

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