Samsung Debuts Bixby-Enabled Robot Vacuum Cleaner/Pet Sitter
Samsung has launched a new voice-controlled robotic vacuum cleaner that can also serve as a pet sitter using a combination of advanced sensors and AI. The new Bespoke Jet Bot AI+ connects to the Samsung Bixby voice assistant to interact with owners, accept commands, and serve as a kind of mobile smart speaker that will also share news and weather updates upon request.
Jet Bot Talk
The Bespoke Jet Bot AI+ is packed with advanced sensors and corresponding AI, enabling it to identify obstacles and delicate objects, avoiding areas it might struggle with or anything it shouldn’t pass over, such as electrical cables. The vacuum is integrated into Samsung’s SmartThings ecosystem, allowing it to sync to smartphones for programming specific rooms to clean and places not to go when cleaning. The SmartThings app can also access the camera on the vacuum to check in on pets. The sensors can also spot where a pet may have left excrement, avoiding the terrible (if hilarious) reported result that occurs when robot vacuums attempt to clean it up.
Voice control via Samsung Bixby is built into the Jet Bot AI+ and can understand commands regarding setting up times to clean and changing the cleaning mode. The voice assistant operates largely as it would on a smartphone, with access to local news and information that it can read to the owner. According to the company, the way the vacuum interacts with users was a critical element in its development, with a great deal of thought put into how the voice of the robot would sound depending on the interaction with the owner.
“The Jet Bot AI+’s voice projects warmth thanks to its meticulously designed tone and manner. When relaying functions and information related to cleaning, the robot exudes reliability by communicating in a clear and direct tone,” Samsung explained in a blog post about the design. “At other times, it speaks to users in a friendly manner to create a sense of companionship. The device’s witty responses to certain situations and questions make it seem that much more human and alive.”
The Jet Bot AI+’s emphasis on personality is reminiscent of the Ballie robot Samsung debuted at CES in 2020 to much fanfare. The ball-shaped robot could follow a user around at an appropriate distance, serving as a mobile command center for smart home devices and a convenient camera for instant photos and videos. Ballie was also pitched as a night watchman that would patrol a home at night independently. The Ballie faded from view soon after, but a lot of what Samsung suggested it could do is exactly what the Jet Bot AI+ now does. Besides Ballie not having a vacuum, the biggest difference between Ballie and the Jet Bot AI+ is that Ballie’s voice recognition system didn’t use Bixby and couldn’t talk back. The Jet Bot AI+’s human-like voice and simulated personality encourage friendly interactions and the anthropomorphization that makes people fond of machines the same way they are about pets.
“Our focus was to create a friendly AI that befriended the user as a helpful assistant, so they wouldn’t have to interact with a machine-like personality,” Samsung designer Yeonsu Kim said in a statement.