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From Pet Care to Projectors, These Personal Robots Impressed Us at CES

by Elizabeth Harper on January 13, 2024

CES is always a hotbed of technical innovation, with many cutting-edge tech demos…some more practical than others. But robots and AI have had a growing presence at the show, and CES 2024 presented some interesting new robots that you may actually want to take home.

It’s probably a little early to call any of these bots mainstream, but this year’s smart home robots are more useful than those we’ve seen before. Here are four bots that impressed us this year — including a couple you’ll be able to bring home soon.

A man speaks on a video call that Ballie projects on the wall

Samsung Ballie

We first saw Samsung’s sphere-shaped robot rolling around in 2020, but Ballie’s latest incarnation may take the bot beyond a technical curiosity. Think of Samsung Ballie as a sort of home assistant: it can control smart home functions and do the things you would expect from a typical smart speaker, but it also features an integrated projector for playing videos or making calls. Ballie can act autonomously and learn your preferences, so it might patrol to keep watch on your home, snap photos of your pets to send you, or follow you around while you’re home to help you make video calls.

But it’s the projector that makes Ballie really interesting because you have a projector whenever and wherever you want it, without any special setup. Just ask Ballie to play a video, make a call, or load a workout and it will project it on the nearest surface. The only question is how the feature will work outside of Samsung’s demo because the company hasn’t released many details on this cute yellow bot just yet. But if it works as smoothly as it appears, this could be the handiest home bot we’ve seen yet.

Price: Unknown
Available: 2024

A child sits next to a wide-eyed robot, the LG AI Agent

LG AI Agent

LG’s robotic offering this year has the lofty ambition to “liberate users from the burden of housework.” That sounds great, but the foot-tall LG AI Agent can’t vacuum the floor, load the dishwasher, or do the laundry — though it can communicate with LG ThinQ appliances to help you do certain chores.

This mobile smart home hub does some of the same functions as Ballie, acting as a security guard or pet sitter, but the AI Agent leans heavily into its AI features. It will analyze your voice and facial expressions to pick music or other content that suits your current mood, and it might remind you of your day’s schedule or tell you about the weather at appropriate times. Those smarts are particularly interesting, even though it seems like the format might be just as effective as a desktop smart screen. We’ll have to see how LG refines the intelligence and features of the AI Agent by the time it’s released (if it ever comes to market).

Price: Unknown
Available: Unknown

Read more: Amazon Echo Show 8 Gen 3: Sleek Design Meets Functional Upgrades

A dog leaps after a ball thrown by ORo, a robot with large eyes

ORo Dog Companion

While both AI Agent and Ballie can keep an eye on your pets, ORo Dog Companion is specifically designed to look after your dog when you can’t. This autonomous bot will follow your pet around and monitor their activity, alerting you of anything unusual and snapping photos of anything particularly cute.

Playtime? No problem. ORo can play fetch and other games to keep your pet occupied, and can even help with training. Every pet owner knows that a bored dog can be destructive, so a bot that can keep your pet company while you’re at work has real value.

An included smart feeder will also feed your pup on a schedule and it can even dispense pills — though I’ve never known a dog that would take pills without some form of bribery, so I’m unsure how well that will work. Still, ORo has a clear purpose and appears to do it well, which is more than some of the concept bots we’ve seen. Busy pet owners may find it worth the price.

Price: $799
Available: April 2024

A child talks to a robot with winking orange eyes, Loona

Loona Smart Robot

This robotic pet isn’t really aiming to be useful: the Loona Smart Robot exists to play and entertain (without the time and effort of keeping a living pet). It has some standard pet-like behaviors, such as playing fetch and chasing a laser pointer, but as it wanders around your home you may find a whole range of playful actions.

Loona is powered by ChatGPT, which gives it quite a bit of interactivity. You can ask it questions and it can even help you learn a new language or teach you coding. And over-the-air updates will provide it with new features (and more smarts) all the time.

Those are interesting features that could be applicable to anyone, but Loona seems particularly aimed at kids, who will enjoy this unique playmate and its simple selection of games. It’s pricy for a toy, but its educational possibilities could elevate it beyond basic entertainment.

Price: $449 ($529 with charging dock)
Available: Now

[Image credits: Samsung, LG, Ogmen, KEYi Tech]

Elizabeth Harper is a writer and editor with more than a decade of experience covering consumer technology and entertainment. In addition to writing for Techlicious, she's Editorial Director of Blizzard Watch and is published on sites all over the web, including Time, CBS, Engadget, The Daily Dot and DealNews.


News, Health and Home, Home Safety & Security, Blog

Discussion loading


From Tam on January 16, 2024 :: 4:48 pm

I can imagine how AI robots also may benefit seniors (and augment human support) through a number of uses:  providing basic but possibly more intuitive computer support “how-tos”; sending photos or videos to family members in real time; providing necessary medication reminders; and eventually supporting safety concerns by staying in close proximity with individuals and contacting others as needed. By interacting, they also could provide ongoing mental stimulation through education and entertainment and help reduce loneliness for those living alone.


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