Samsung Ballie not WALL-E

It’s that time of year: CES. In 2024 we are seeing a resurgence of robots, taking advantage of multi-modal inputs for modern AI. This makes interaction less reliant on memorizing commands so that you can easily use it from the get-go.

Samsung announced the new version of their Ballie assistant robot, complete with a projector so it can also act a portable/scalable second screen. I saw the first version of Ballie at CES 2020 and just thought of it as a novelty toy, but the utility of a projector does make this a more interesting accessory.

The name “Ballie” does sound very similar to “WALL-E” the adorable Pixar robot and movie. Looking back, it was actually WALL-E’s robot friend EVE that had the projector. In any case, the names and what they represent are awfully similar.

LG announced their “smart home AI agent” with “robotic, AI and multi-modal technologies” – essentially their robot is a pretty interface for their smart home offerings; oddly there is no specific name for this robot. All part of their “Zero Labor Home”.