Sure, LG's new home assistant robot lacks a good or even easily digestible name, but we're gonna give the LG smart home Artificial Intelligence (AI) agent extra points for cuteness.
The new bot, which unveils at CES 2024 (Jan 9-12), is a small cog in LG's new efforts to create "Zero Labor Homes." The mostly white, roughly 1 foot-tall bot balances on two feet-like wheels and features a friendly face with two large video 'eyes.' Below that is a fixed 'mouth' that is actually a series of cameras and sensors. There's also a nice, wide handle so you can pick up the LG bot if, we assume, it's getting in the way.
Leaving aside its warm demeanor, the smart home Artificial Intelligence (AI) agent is packed full of technology, most of it based on Qualcomm's Robotics RB5 development kit, which is built around Qualcomm's QRB516. The SoC brings a wealth of pre-built AI capabilities like face recognition and the ability to capture a wide array of environmental data, including air quality, humidity, and temperature.
"Our groundbreaking smart home AI agent combines cutting-edge autonomous mobility and AI technologies with advanced communication capabilities and services to help free customers from household chores,” said Lyu Jae-cheol in a release on the new robot.
LG designed the robot to be whatever home helper you need it to be, so it can serve as a home security system, roaming the halls and looking for intruders (and reporting them back directly to your smartphone). It can help you prepare for your day by offering weather updates or reminding you about your schedule.
It can connect to your smart home system and manage connected outlets and switches (it would be nice if a robot could run around my home turning off all the lights people keep leaving on).
The robot can also be quite personable, greeting you when you come home and even identifying your mood (based on the frowny face you're making right now, for instance) then playing music that might cheer you up.
One of the provided robot images shows the smart home Artificial Intelligence (AI) agent lurking near a small child (who seems quite entertained), but there are no details about how it might engage with children. Would its video eyes transform into a cartoon playback screen or pop up a toddler-appropriate game? Similarly, LG did not specify battery life or how the robot might charge itself.
Considering LG doesn't have a decent name for the robot, it's no surprise that we have no pricing or availability date. Even so, I bet most people wouldn't mind hanging out with this ultra-cute bot when it does become available.
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A 35-year industry veteran and award-winning journalist, Lance has covered technology since PCs were the size of suitcases and “on line” meant “waiting.” He’s a former Lifewire Editor-in-Chief, Mashable Editor-in-Chief, and, before that, Editor in Chief of PCMag.com and Senior Vice President of Content for Ziff Davis, Inc. He also wrote a popular, weekly tech column for Medium called The Upgrade.
Lance Ulanoff makes frequent appearances on national, international, and local news programs including Live with Kelly and Ryan, Fox News, Fox Business, the Today Show, Good Morning America, CNBC, CNN, and the BBC.