Tech companies have been trying to make robots part of a smart home setup for years. Asus introduced Zenbo in 2016, but it never really took off. Amazon’s Astro has been around since 2021, but it’s still an invite-only device.

This year LG is demonstrating a (sort of) bipedal robot at CES, while Samsung is showing off a ball-shaped robot called… Ballie.

In a nutshell, it’s a little yellow robot that can roll around your home, respond to voice commands, use a projector to display content on the floor, wall, or ceiling, and interact with other smart home gadgets.

For example, in a promotional Samsung shows Ballie feeding and entertaining a dog by triggering an internet-connected feeder and shining wildlife video on the floor. There’s no indication of whether Ballie has any defense should the dog decide it’d be more amusing to attack a semi-autonomous robot.

Other activities shown in the video include turning on lights, projecting a video call or exercise videos on the wall (or ceiling), and responding to voice and text-based prompts.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Ballie – Samsung showed off an earlier prototype at CES 2020, but since then Samsung has updated the design and technology for things like computer vision and natural language processing have only gotten better. Samsung says that it can do things like automatically adjust the projector angle depending on your posture and where your face is pointed.

That said, so far Samsung is only really showing a demo video. The company didn’t bring the robot on stage during its CES keynote, and there’s no word on whether Samsung will bring Ballie to market anytime soon.

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  1. It looks cool, I guess the problem is that it will probably cost as much as a small car.

  2. Missed opportunity, or possible attempt to avoid litigation, that they didn’t call it ‘BALL-E’