February 28, 2021
From touchless to high-tech, the smart home at CES 2021 reflected the times

Talking with Samsung about its new robot helpers – Video


I’m Andrew Gebhardt coming to you live from the CNET smart home in Louisville, Kentucky today is officially the second day of CES.
And despite it being an all digital version of the show, we’ve seen a lot of cool stuff this year.
And some of those cool things are Samsung’s new fancy lineup of robots designed to help out around the house.
Joining me now to talk about these robotic helpers is CNET senior editor Bridget Carey, who is a big robot fan.
And we also have Adam Kuhn, who is manager of home appliance product training at Samsung.
Thank you for joining us today, Adam.>> Of course.
Thank you for having me.>> So Adam, I’ve got to start on the bot handy because it’s just the concept of a robot that can do chores for me just thrills me so much and it can pick up around the house and put away dishes.
So can you tell me a little bit about bot handy and and what it can do?
Yeah, absolutely so and believe me, I don’t think anyone is going to disagree with you there that having a robot be able to help you through some of those daily tasks is something we’d all be interested in.
We thought about by hand and what’s coming out of our research laboratories as we advance into robotics is, as you pointed out, really creating robots that are built to help us with those day to day activities that allow us to you know, have an easier time throughout our day and to pick up some of those everyday tasks.
So we look at something like the bot handy.
It’s a matter of not only understanding what those tasks are and being able to help complete them, but understanding what it is it’s picking up and how much pressure, how much force and how it would handle it.
So picking up things like glasses or dishes versus out of like a children’s toy, it’s going to handle all of those things differently because it can feel out the material Understand how it’s supposed to handle it, which then would empower it to be able to do things like you mentioned, set the table, put dishes away, and even load the dishwasher in the future.
So the idea really, we said is to build it so we can really handle all of that with the additional technology.
And in the video, it’s, it’s able to also like pour a glass of wine so like it could be your sommelier.
I mean, it seems super cool to be able to have that object recognition.
And and you’re able to see it now like picking dishes up out of the dishwasher and putting them and loading them.
And that seems super cool.
Bridgette, is this something that you would like to have around your house?
Please.
Having two little ones around the house.
And covering CES, My place is a mess right now.
So, yes, I love looking at this stuff, because it’s one of those elements like, can you make my life easier?
But I also sit and wonder.It’s great to see a video where it can you know pick up a dish and do all that but where are we in terms of.
The biggest challenges in getting these robots to do this smoothly and for that matter, any home robot what are we looking at right now for the getting to the next step to make that happen?
Do I have to sit there and teach a robot everything?
This is what my dishes and this is what the toy is.
So, I’m assuming that was for me, so I’m going to take it.
Fortunately for you know, you’re not going to be in a position where you have to do that.
I will actually talk about it a little bit as we go some of the other products we’re going to cover.
While we’re all talking here today, the unit will actually be able to identify that on its own and utilize AI technologies to learn and be programmed to understand what it’s picking up using a database of information that it can use as a reference to understand what it is So once it’s identifying that object, it can grab it with the proper force, understand what it’s picking up, use the weight of the object to effectively pour that glass.
So it’s about it learning at the same time.
So it will be provided with information certainly to allow to analyze this environment and then use reference material to ensure it understands what it’s doing.
Doing so you won’t be there with flashcards having to teach it.
No.
The idea is that it’ll learn on its own right and then be able to identify the object and respond to it.
And we said depending on the material, right, so it’s picking up laundry or it’s picking up a toy or a dish, understanding what it is, and then having the right programming and information to understand what to do with it.
That just sounds so cool.
I just I like.
Knowing all of that and knowing that there’s a robot coming to do my chores for me sounds so neat.
And then you also debuted the bot care which we’re looking at now.
So in addition to the bot handy which is gonna put away your dishes, your bot care is your all in one sort of like Digital assistant like keep you on schedule and things.
Tell me a little bit about what the bot care can do.
Yeah, absolutely.
So when we look at by handy being able to, you know, you said pick up and help around the house and understand objects and be able to interact with them.
Bot care is built really around you.
So managing your personal schedule, your health and wellness you saw in the press conference and as far as the demo there Reminding you to stand up and take a stretch from being in front of the screens what’s going on in your daily schedule, being able to remind you of calls or meetings that you may have.
So it really becomes your companion throughout the day, across personal and professional, and being able to kind of work with you throughout to make sure that you’re staying on top of your schedule, that you’re staying.
You know, it’s like managing your health and wellness and getting out from behind the screen understanding if you have an appointment to take the kids to or something that you have professionally or personally.
So it’s about kind of complementing it.
So bought handy being designed really to help you around the house, while bot cares focused more on you and being your personal assistant and companion throughout the day.
It sounds super promising and like you were mentioning that.
So these technologies are still concepts.
They’re still sort of being developed.
But a lot of what’s being worked on with these is designed to sort of trickle down into the products that actually do come to market, correct?
Yeah, absolutely.
So while we’re building out our robotics and we’re expanding with black hair and by handy in our retail bot, and continuing to Push and develop those and those innovations at the same time, to your point earlier when we were mentioning how it learns some of those technologies are able to come down into products that will be out on the market like the jet by 90, which we showcased as well at CES So that’ll be available in 2021 and it will be utilizing that AI technology and object recognition.
So while a lot of these are in concept, we’re pushing them to really kind of push the envelope and keep innovating robotics.
At the same point, as those get perfected We bring them into these products that are coming into the market to help solve those consumer pain points and make them more innovative and you know, a more innovative and effective products like the jet by 19.
Cool.
Yeah.
So I mean because the bot handy and the bot care certainly like.
Neat concepts, but right you showed off as you mentioned, the jetbot 90, which is using some of that technology and this year people are actually going to be able to buy it because it’s a it’s a robot vacuum and it’s got some unique features.
So, Bridget, what do you want to know about the jet bot 90 that would convince you that this robot vacuum is worth a purchase?>> Well, I want to hear more about how smart is with LIDAR because we just saw that demo like yeah, it was able to scan and go this is a table and Whatnot and we, it’s able to dodge toys right now that’s like the big pain point and trying to get a Roomba to go around my house because it’s like, always going off and it’s sucked up something.
So, what are what is that able to solve?
And and how far can those smarts really go to be able to dodge things and know when it’s going to run into.
Yeah, absolutely.
So it’s a great question and it’s a combination of multiple sensors that are on board and the main hardware upgrade that helps with that is the 3d object camera in the front.
So you have the LIDAR sensor which you’ll see in the rear of the unit, and that will measure out into 360 degrees to help map rooms on a larger scale.
And then there’s over 250 thousand sensors in the front of it that are helping and understand height.
There’s gyro sensors built in, allowing it to sense what’s around it and also understand where it is in relation to those objects.
But that camera you seeing the front that’s playing right now.
That’s what’s recognizing the images of the object and then detecting what it is, and our partnership with Intel allows it in real time to understand whether or not that object it could be a danger to it or the surroundings or cause it to make a bigger mess.
Something that it can safely vacuum around.
So things like electrical cords, toys, cups, plates, furniture, portable appliances like an air conditioner, they will understand what those objects are.
And then either take a really wide path away to avoid them and then alert you that there’s something in its way via the SmartThings app, or it’ll clean close to it because it knows it won’t be a danger to the unit.
So the object recognition component is actually being done by that camera.
And then LIDAR plus the additional sensors and the camera work together.
To effectively map the room and ensure it gets the most efficient cleaning path while dodging those obstacles.
So it’s the biggest thing that
Sorry, I’m excited there.
What’s the biggest thing that is the challenge that confuses these types of machines the most Is it the pet running by.
The kid like, what is that, big challenge, that, we’re keep trying to solve that is like, the thing that that confuses it.
Yeah.
So, for us it was, building a, robotic vacuum, that can be completely autonomous, because it understands its surroundings in real time.
So, if I’m pulling up and let’s say that.
My child leaves a cup of water or juice on the carpet and I don’t know, and the vacuum begins its path.
Typically it’ll either try to bump into it to understand that it shouldn’t go near it and potentially knock it over because it doesn’t understand what that is.
Because it’s really just looking at there’s an obstacle there and we’ll get as close to it as possible or potentially hit it.
Because the Jebat 90 plus can understand that that is a cup.
And that it could be holding liquid and could in fact make a bigger mess.
It will avoid it and take a path around it.
The same thing with utensils or string or electrical cords because it understands that that could be a danger to the unit or make a bigger mess.
So the real point is how do we make it completely autonomous and really like a painless cleaning solution, because I’m not worried about the vacuum either making a bigger mess or harming itself in the process, because it understands what’s in its way.
Rather than just knowing there’s an object here.
It knows because that object is a danger, what to do with it.
And then we’ll also alert you.
So if there’s an electrical cord on the ground inside of the SmartThings app, it’ll put an icon letting you know that there’s something there you should address and then continue with cleaning path.
So it also won’t throw it off of its path.
It will just dodge that and then continue cleaning as it mapped out to get you the most efficient, timely clean.
So you mentioned that it creates a path as it goes Using that LIDAR to sort of map the room because one of the things I know about a lot of robot vacuums is that they can take a long time to get a job done.
Does that sort of help it?
Does it actually form any kind of pattern as it’s going up and down the room like, I don’t know.
I love Zamboni does it like do like a Zamboni style thing, is it’s as it’s working.
Absolutely.
So that the Jeff I 90 does a few things here that we want to talk about.
So one is you mentioned that LIDAR sensor will take the map of the larger space as it’s moving through your home and begin to map those rooms while the additional sensors and camera will detect objects.
So it understands how to work around them as well like furniture appliances, and then it will look at the barriers as well in your home.
And depending on the size of the barrier, it will create zones on its own.
So we’ll continue to map out and say, okay, based on the fact that there’s only a three foot gap here for me to go into this space, I’m going to zone this particular room here and then create another zone for this room, so I can more accurately tell it where I want to clean and schedule it into those different areas.
And it will continue to map it out.
And as it maps the room and begins its cleaning process it will create the most efficient pattern like you said, similar to like a Zamboni right?
to dodge all those furniture and obstacles and dodge the things that it can’t get under Right that it’ll references a no go zone and clean in the most efficient path possible.
And then do that room and then go to the next one as you programme it.
And because the fact that can interact in real time with those objects if it were to get thrown off.
By Something in the way, it will just dodge it and then continue through its path.
Right?
So instead of throwing it off and making it remap entirely.
So absolutely is the long and short to your question it will map out the entire space map out zones from.
For you to program and then based on what you have it cleaning and what your schedule looks like, it’ll make the most efficient cleaning path to do so instead of it for instance, final example, instead of it going into that second zone where that only might be a three foot doorway for it to go.
Go through.
It’ll finish cleaning the lunchroom first before it goes to the second zone, because it’d be more efficient than it trying to go in and navigate the second room.
So you can even teach it maybe what room is what could you like in the app say hey, go clean that living room.
Exactly.
In the SmartThings application, you can create virtual No go zones and then you can also schedule what room you want it to clean or what zone you want it to clean and when.
So you can have to do certain sections of the home on a certain schedule or two Telling you don’t want it to go near something.
So if you have a whole setup of, you know, whatever maybe collectibles, anything you don’t want to near, it will certainly understand them and dodge it on its own but if you don’t want it to go over there you can create virtual no go zones in the map as well, ensuring that it doesn’t go anywhere.
You don’t want it to go.>>Okay, so this seems pretty high tech.
Bridgette What else do you want to know about this vacuum?
What is it able to handle you know, hair any differently.
It was one of those things in vacuums you know whether you have pets or kids with long hair, like I always wonder like, like that is got to be so hard to to deal with while you’re also trying to program it to do just cool tech automation at the same time.
Yeah, absolutely.
So when we look at the way that we designed it to take care of that the answer to your question is yes.
So let me get that off your shoulders right now you have a sigh of relief.
It’s designed to handle that.
So a few things we’re going to talk about.
First and foremost, the brush on the jet by 90 is self cleaning.
So I mean by that is if it were to get longer pet hair or longer human hair, it will funnel those hairs into a built in grinder into the brush.
We’ll then grind them up and put them into the dustbin, so they don’t get wrapped around the brush and you don’t have all that maintenance you have to take it apart and clean it on your own.
The brush does it for on its own.
The second part of it is inside of the SmartThings application.
You can turn on the smart cleaning mode, where the unit will understand that type of flooring that it is cleaning.
And it automatically adjusts the power depending on what it’s cleaning.
So if it’s in a carpet it’ll start to obviously turn on the suction a little bit higher, to make sure it’s pulling out all the dust and debris from the carpet.
But if it goes to a harder surface where a lot of times pet hair and hair tend to build up, I’m sure as you know We actually have silver static lining in inside of the brush to pull the Dustin hair into the unit rather than pushing it away and then it will lower the amount of suction because it takes less air to bring it in.
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Well thank you so much Adam for taking time out to join Bridget and I there is so much more to come on cnet’s live coverage of ces 2021, We’ve got a flying car coming up in a few minutes and Bridget will be back at 1:30pm eastern time with the best years Attack of the Show.
And at 3pm Eastern, I’m going to have all of the best Smart Home products.
Stay with us.



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