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Samsung Unveils New Robots at CES 2021

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We could always use more robots.

I think everyone’s dreamed of having a robotic butler at least once in their lives. In cartoons, for instance, you’d always see really rich dudes with robotic servants pouring drinks and entertaining guests. Sadly, commercial robots haven’t yet progressed past simply vacuuming the carpet or doing funny little dances, but if Samsung’s CES presentation is any indication, they’re getting pretty close to that classic fantasy.

At their CES 2021 keynote presentation yesterday (held remotely over Zoom, of course), Samsung unveiled several new AI-powered robots designed to help you with everyday tasks around the house. “Our world looks different, and many of you have been faced with a new reality — one where, among other things, your home has taken on a greater significance,” Samsung Research head Sebastian Seung said. “Our innovations are designed to provide more personal and more intuitive experiences that express your personality. We’re hard at work to bring you next-generation innovation, with AI as the core enabler, for your better tomorrow.”

The crown jewel of their presentation was Bot Handy, a tall, thin mechanoid with a pivoting arm and clamping hand. Utilizing a camera mounted to its top, Bot Handy can recognize different kinds of materials and determine the force with which they should be handled. With the power of this recognition, Bot Handy can, at least according to Samsung, run the laundry, load the dishwasher, set the table, and even pour and serve drinks. It also has an LED panel on the front with two animated eyes, with which it makes the cutest little winky faces.

Bot Handy is still deep in development, so there’s no price or release date just yet, but Samsung does seem to be marketing it as an actual product rather than a simple proof of concept. Granted, by the time this thing is finished, we probably won’t all be trapped in our homes anymore (at least I hope), but hey, like I said, who doesn’t want their own robot butler?