Samsung's Trio of New Robots Are More Helpful Than Creepy

Editor in Chief

LAS VEGAS - Most robots we’ve seen are pretty pointless, creepy or both. But Samsung is showcasing a trio of helpful robots here at CES 2019.

Credit: Tom's GuideCredit: Tom's Guide

The company is focusing on big and small companion bots that can help care for the elderly, clean the air around you and enhance your shopping or dining experiences.

Samsung Bot Care

Credit: Tom's GuideCredit: Tom's GuideThe friendly Samsung Bot Care robot can help older people do everything, from taking their vital signs to getting them moving with some stretches and yoga. In one demo, I saw the Bot Care take a Samsung rep's blood pressure just by pressing and holding the rep's finger to a screen. The robot can then send a snapshot of your latest stats to loved ones.

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Credit: Tom's GuideCredit: Tom's GuideBot Care can also remind you to take your medicine, and when you do, your loved ones will get a notification. And, if you need to lift your mood, the Bot Care can dance and play music.

The Bot Care is smart enough to follow you when you call it, or use a hand gesture to summon it.

Bot Air

The Bot Air robot is a lot more specialized, as it can work with sensors in your smart home to determine whether the air quality is safe. The robot can also purify the air, though it’s not clear how that works.

Credit: Tom's GuideCredit: Tom's Guide

During a demo, the display on the robot showed when it detected an abnormality, and the bottom lit up red to signal that there was an issue. Then, as the robot started cleaning the air, the light turned yellow. Finally, it turned green when the coast was clear.

Bot Retail

Last, but not least, Bot Retail is a taller robot with a touchscreen, intended for use in retail and service environments. For example, you could use it to order at a restaurant — and the back side has a shelf to bring you food.

When it’s time to pay, all you have to do is tap your phone to the robot. (This could be bad news if you work as a waiter or waitress.) In another scenario, the Bot Retail could recommend accessories for your Galaxy Watch in a store.

Samsung isn’t saying when these robots will be hitting the market, but I’m a little less worried about an AI uprising. For now.