Ballie: Samsung unveils robot assistant that will follow users through their homes

Posted at 12:49 PM, Jan 08, 2020

Anyone with a smartphone has probably grown accustomed to talking to automated assistants like Siri and Alexa. But Samsung's new personal assistant will do more than just listen — it will follow you around.

At the CES consumer electronics show in Las Vegas on Monday, Samsung unveiled Ballie — a ball-shaped robot with a camera that will follow owners as they walk around their homes.

In a short promotional video, Samsung showed Ballie proactively opening curtains, turning on lights and changing inputs on a television screen.

The video also showed Ballie entertaining a dog while its owner was at work — which isn't a stretch, given the robot's resemblance to a tennis ball.

While some have raised privacy concerns as large tech companies place more cameras inside homes, Samsung promised that it would not share information obtained through Ballie with third-party companies.

"We want Ballie to keep our secrets," a Samsung executive said, according to CNN. "We want an AI we can trust. We are working hard to bring all of this [to Ballie]."

Samsung did not provide a timeline as to when Ballie would be available to the public.

Alex Hider is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @alexhider.