Do you want Samsung's new 'home helper'? | The Tylt

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Pretty soon, the Rumba is going to seem like an old station wagon. Samsung blew crowds away when it announced its "home helper" at CES. The "helper," called Ballie, is a tennis-ball shaped robot that follows you around your home and acts as your personal assistant—both while you are home and while you are away. Ballie can perform tasks like turning on the TV, managing other smart home devices and even keeping pets entertained. Some can't wait to get their hands on Ballie, while others say this is one step too close to "I, Robot." Do you want one?

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Ballie is the next gen of smart assistants. Forget the stationary Alexa or Google Home. What we need now is a smart assistant this is as mobile as we are. Better yet, we need an assistant that can be where we are not—that can manage the home, entertain the dog, and take care of chores while we are away. Ballie is just that. According to Tech Xplore, the ball can perform a number of tasks, including things like: 

..connecting with other smart home devices such as vacuum cleaners, turning on the tv and keeping real pets amused. We see that it can manage smart devices in the home—like starting the vacuum after a spill occurs.

Ballie can also help you feel more secure in your home. It can patrol rooms at night and call for help if an elderly person suffers a fall at home.

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But not only is Ballie just a few steps past creepy (a tennis ball that follows you around, plays with your dog, and watches you...honestly nothing sounds worse), but it also presents a number of pretty obvious challenges. 

First and foremost, the ball is introduced as something that can entertain a pet, which may seem ironic to some viewers. Most dogs are familiar with their own passé version of Ballie: the tennis ball itself. This sure-to-be-expensive robot might get chewed before it even has the chance to turn on the lights. Tech Xplore points out a few more of Ballie's shortcomings: 

A little robot ball—it cannot make sandwiches, bring you your hat, dry fresh laundry on a rack—is it a fun item for event showrooms ? Is it to plant a Samsung brand perception of making more of a 'human-centric' approach to innovation?

It's also uncertain how Ballie would tackle stairs. 

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