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Samsung’s Ballie Returns with AI-Driven Capabilities at CES 2024

At CES 2024, Samsung reintroduced Ballie, its innovative spherical home robot now packed with advanced AI and impressive functionalities

Samsung Ballie

At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2024, Samsung reintroduced Ballie, its innovative spherical home robot initially showcased in 2020, now enhanced with advanced artificial intelligence and new functionalities. Unlike its earlier iteration, the latest Ballie has evolved significantly, mirroring the rapid advancements in home automation and AI technology.

This refreshed version of Ballie, roughly the size of a standard bowling ball, is equipped with an enduring battery lasting between two to three hours. Its design includes a spatial lidar sensor, essential for navigating through various home environments and avoiding obstacles with precision. A standout feature of the new Ballie is its 1080p projector, boasting dual lenses. This allows the robot to project movies, facilitate video calls, and even function as an auxiliary PC monitor. Samsung’s press release highlights Ballie’s capacity to project images on walls, adjusting automatically to wall distance and lighting conditions for an optimal viewing experience. The robot is also capable of detecting people’s posture and facial angles, adjusting the projection angle accordingly.

Ballie’s interactivity extends beyond traditional controls. It responds to voice commands and can also be operated via text messages. When receiving text commands, Ballie uses a chatbot to confirm requests before executing them. This feature is indicative of the robot’s integration into the broader ecosystem of smart home devices. Ballie can control both smart and non-smart devices, like air conditioners and older TV models, thanks to its built-in infrared transmitter. Furthermore, it has the ability to map out home floor plans, identifying the locations of various smart devices.

Samsung is ambitious in its vision for Ballie, proposing additional functionalities like reminders for household tasks such as watering plants, facilitating remote medical services, and personalization based on the robot’s recognition of different household members. The front and rear cameras allow Ballie to analyze its surroundings and learn from users’ patterns.

Despite these intriguing features, Samsung has not yet provided concrete details regarding Ballie’s market availability or pricing. This leaves potential consumers wondering about the practicality and affordability of such an advanced home robot. The market for home robots has been unpredictable, as seen in Amazon’s recent foray into the sector and the cessation of operations by Mayfield Robotics before delivering their product. Whether Samsung’s Ballie will overcome these market challenges remains to be seen.

Samsung showcased Ballie’s capabilities primarily through a video presentation, highlighting its role as a projector and a smart home assistant. The video demonstrated Ballie projecting videos for entertainment, facilitating video calls, and even assisting with fitness routines by displaying workout videos. It showed Ballie controlling various household appliances and interacting with household members, including pets, by following them around and greeting them. In one of the more visually striking demonstrations, Ballie projected a cosmic scene onto a ceiling, showcasing its potential for creating immersive environments.

Although this presentation was confined to a video and lacked a live demonstration or specific release details, it offered a glimpse into the potential future of home robotics. Ballie’s advanced features and charming design captured attention at CES, reaffirming Samsung’s commitment to innovation in the realm of smart home technology. As the world of home automation continues to expand, devices like Ballie represent a step towards a more interconnected and intelligent home environment, though their success in the consumer market will ultimately depend on factors like usability, affordability, and the ability to integrate seamlessly into everyday life.

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