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CES 2019: Samsung Unleash Robot Butlers

Samsung unveiled four new robots to give humans a helping hand at CES 2019, hinting that our future robot overlords won’t be so bad after all.

The Korean giant introduced four new robots: Bot Air to purify the air in your home, Bot Care to monitor health, Bot Retail as a replacement for retail workers; and GEMS (Gait Enhancing and Motivating System) an exoskeleton designed to aid with mobility issues.

Bot Air is effectively an air purifier on wheels with a screen and will automatically go to rooms where it detects impurities in the air e.g. burning food in the kitchen. It flashes red when the air is impure and green once clear.

Bot Care is a healthcare-specialised cone-shaped robot on wheels with a display screen for “face”.

Bot Care contains sensors that can monitor user’s blood pressure, heart rate, and even monitors users while they sleep to determine the quality of the rest which it will report back to the user when they wake.

It is also capable of reminding users to take medication, ensure they do take it, and shares all vitals data with Samsung Health, enabling health care workers or family members to monitor users’ health remotely.

Bot Care can also detect if users fall using IoT sensors and will come to user’s aid by connecting with friend or family online and calling emergency services if necessary.

Bot Retail is the most “human-like” in appearance and is designed to serve as a waiter or retail assistant and responds via voice prompts and even facial expressions.

It features a large chest screen to display items and can provide directions, take payments via NFC for items, deliver food or beverages and more.

The fourth robot unveiled at CES was the GEMS exoskeletons.

Samsung has developed three versions of the mobility helping robots: GEMS-H for hips, GEMS-A for ankles, and GEMS-K for knees.

The GEMS-H model is the furthest along in development and is worn around the waist with Samsung claiming it can increase walking speed by 20 per cent, improve user’s balance by 19 per cent and reduce energy expenditure by 23 per cent.

The GEMS are aimed at those with mobility issues, who suffered strokes or muscle weakness and the GEMS-H can even aid in athletic training by providing more resistance.

Although having numerous health benefits, Samsung hasn’t been able to develop a “business case” for its launch, even if they do make it to the market, they may be too expensive for those that could most benefit from its aid.

The most into “smart assistance” makes sense with smart voice-assistants being pushed into nearly every aspect of our home lives. No timelines have been provided for the actual launch of these robots.

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