Ballie: Samsung's AI-Powered Home Robot
Wed, April 21, 2021

Ballie: Samsung's AI-Powered Home Robot

Samsung showcased Ballie, a home robot, at CES 2020 / Photo Credit: JPstock (via Shutterstock)


Samsung showcased its new home robot called Ballie at the 2020 Consumer Electronics show, reported Kyle Wiggers of Venture Beat, an American technology news website. Ballie is a small, round robot equipped with a built-in camera, microphone, and speaker. More details will be revealed, but Sebastian Seung, executive vice president and chief research scientist at Samsung, stated that the robot is designed to understand, support, and react to its owner’s needs. Seung added that AI is the future of personalized care. “We see on-device AI as central to truly personalized experiences. On-device AI puts you in control of your information and protects your privacy while still delivering the power of personalization,” he said. 

Ballie’s on-device AI allows it to serve as a fitness assistant, including being a mobile interface that finds solutions to “various wants.” It also acts as a security robot as it patrols rooms at night and when you are away during the day. Ballie can also follow an elderly family member around and call for help if they fall. Thanks to Ballie’s local, offline processing capabilities, it can do all the aforementioned tasks while abiding by “stringent” data protection and privacy standards. The robot can also tap into Samsung’s smart home device platforms such as SmartThings. During the briefing,  president and CEO of Samsung’s consumer electronics division H.S. Kim showed a video demonstrating how Ballie opens curtains, turns on a TV, and starts a vacuum’s cleaning routine. 

The name “Ballie” emerged in trademark filings last December, according to Kris Holt of Engadget, a news and review platform dedicated to technology. Samsung explained that it wanted to use the name for robots that can perform various tasks such as cleaning, daily chores, and security surveillance. Samsung’s Ballie came a year after the firm debuted a robotics platform that includes Bot Care, a robot that is capable of checking in on elderly patients, and Bot Gems, a wearable exoskeleton. Home robotics—and robotics in general—are a tough field to crack by even the best-funded ventures.