Welcome to Thomas Insights – every day we post the latest news and analysis to keep our readers up to date with what’s happening in the industry. Sign up here to get the day’s top stories straight to your inbox.
This year, the annual Consumer Electronics Show is testing whether the magic of an event known for generating buzz about beta and prototype gadgets will be lost in an all-virtual format. And while tens of thousands of square feet of the Las Vegas Convention Center aren’t crawling with robots this year, there’s still been some excitement generated by the innovation-packed event, even if it’s not than video footage.
On the first day of CES 2021, Samsung – known for its robotics projects – unveiled a new robot it’s perhaps closer than ever to a real Jetson-style Rosie the Robot, minus the apron.
It’s called Bot Handy, and this robot uses an extendable arm that’s able to take control of some basic household chores like loading the dishwasher and pouring a round of drinks. AI features help Handy identify objects and gauge how best to grab them based on their weight and sturdiness, meaning it can likely set the table without breaking your plates.
Samsung has also revamped its personal assistant robot, Bot Care, if you need another object in your life to nudge you into (or out of) specific activities. For example, Bot Care can remind you to stretch your legs and walk around the house when you’ve been working too long. This bot was originally launched with healthcare in mind and was designed to measure vital signs and assess stress levels in its human subject. Samsung’s redesign suggests it can now do more to help users who might need a companion as much as a health coach.
But you’ll have to wait a bit before you can get your hands on your own task-seeking bot, as the launch schedule for these two is yet to be determined. For now, Samsung has a smart vacuum cleaner that should hit the US market soon. And while standalone vacuums don’t generate more than a yawn, this one actually doubles as a home monitoring device and uses Lidar to navigate around objects as small as wires.