Watch Samsung’s clever home robot set the table and pour wine

At the end of a long, challenging day, a sneaky glass of wine may be just the ticket to help you unwind. But what if you’re so exhausted that you can’t even muster the energy to lift the bottle to pour the liquid refreshment into your glass?

Well, there is hope, as Samsung has shown off a robot that will do just that, with the added bonus of being able to perform a variety of chores around the home, too.

Going with the rather curious name of “Bot Handy,” Samsung unveiled its robotic helper at the first-ever virtual CES show, which kicked off on Monday.

Using its extendable arm and robotic hand, Bot Handy can also sort out dirty laundry and set the table for dinner, though hopefully, it’s able to perform some kind of self-cleaning operation in between these two particular procedures.

The slender robot moves around on wheels and includes a small display that can convey facial expressions to help you warm to it before possibly becoming fully emotionally bonded.

In a video presentation (top), we learn that Bot Handy uses artificial intelligence (A.I.) to understand an object’s material and shape, thus allowing it to work out what to do with it (eg. put it in the dishwasher and not the fridge).

Sebastian Seung, head of Samsung Research, sys Bot Handy “flips the script on what a robot in your home could look like.”

Samsung

The Korean company also showed off Bot Care, a personal assistant robot that rolls around your home answering your questions, reminding you of appointments, and helping you to keep to any schedule you’ve set.

Finally, it took the wraps off a Roomba-like vacuum robot — the JetBot 90AI+ — that uses lidar technology to help it distinguish between objects like a robust toy and a fragile vase so it can choose the best cleaning path.

Seung says: “Each of these robots are built with you in mind, but this is just a glimpse into the future we see — robotics and A.I. adapting to you and helping you do things more easily at home and outside of it.”

When will it be available?

While tech companies have long been promising robotic home helpers, our living spaces are yet to be transformed in a big way by such technological marvels. We don’t even know when Bot Handy or Bot Care will be trundling into our homes, as Seung merely says that Samsung is working hard “to bring you next-generation innovation with A.I. as the core enabler for your better tomorrow.” Robot vacuum technology is already well established, and so Samsung is at least able to offer a U.S. launch date for this particular machine, promising its arrival in the first half of 2021.

Whether any of these robots land tomorrow or in 10 years’ time, it’s always fun to see different companies’ different visions for such home-based contraptions. For now, though, you’ll still need a human hand to pour that wine.

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