Samsung’s Ballie robot didn’t do much at CES 2024, but it sure is cute

Samsung’s Ballie robot is one of the more delightful things we’ve heard about at CES 2024. The spherical robot was a surprise from Samsung yesterday, though the company first showed off a version of it back in 2020. Ballie’s now a lot bigger, growing from a tennis ball to a bowling ball, and it has a built-in projector.

Unfortunately, Samsung isn’t letting us get any one-on-one time with Ballie here in Las Vegas, but the company did show off a demo at its booth. It was obviously tightly scripted and controlled, but at the very least it gave us an idea of how the company envisions Ballie being used. The actor asked Ballie to start a workout routine for him and it started projecting a workout video on the wall and started some tunes. Sure, you could just use your TV for that, but when one of the exercises called for laying down, Ballie shot the video to the ceiling so the actor could continue following along. 

In another example, Ballie was able to give a visual representation of the house’s air quality, pulling data from a connected air purifier. In addition to showing some stats on the wall, Ballie noted that a filter needed to be changed. The idea here is to show that Ballie can talk to all your smart home devices and display info from them, even if they don’t have a dedicated display. 

Naturally, Ballie can also display events on your calendar and place phone calls, and it can show video from things like the inside of your Samsung fridge or oven as well as when someone is at your doorbell. Basically, Ballie feels like a smart home hub on wheels that can also display stuff when you want it to. 

It’s cute, and it was fun to see Ballie confidently rolling around the floor of the demo area, but I can’t help but think that it’s solving exactly zero real world problems either. We’ll have to see how development progresses, but Samsung says it’ll be on sale by the end of the year. I’m not fully convinced, as we’ve seen a lot of, but I am definitely rooting for the little robot.

We’re reporting live from CES 2024 in Las Vegas from January 6-12. Keep up with all the latest news from the show here.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at 

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