Samsung displayed a revamped Ballie, a yellow autonomously driving robot, at CES 2024. Described as an “at-home assistant,” this robot is designed to answer phone calls, play music, display news stories, and more. Maybe I’m easily charmed by whimsical things, but this little robot won me over. It’s practical in some ways, but its appeal to a wider audience is debatable.
One of the cooler things about Ballie is its built-in 1080p projector and spatial LiDAR sensor. It can project movies and conference calls on any hard surface and greet you with a projected “Welcome” at the door. It can even send you clips of your pet when you’re not home and call for help if someone falls down.
Ballie is a mobile version of Google Home or Alexa. It can control lights, text friends, and more, with the added feature of a projector and the ability to follow you around.
The earlier version of Ballie, from 2020, looked more like a tennis ball made of Legos. The 2024 model has a more polished and friendlier design.
Questions remain about Ballie’s cost and availability. No word on either yet, but it’s expected to be expensive, similar to Amazon’s Astro robot which costs $1,599.99.