LG's new AI assistant will roam your home on two wheels
While AI assistants like Alexa can be helpful, they're typically stuck in stationary devices such as smart speakers. LG is out to change that, with a new AI that makes its way through users' homes in the form of a wheeled robot.
The device was announced this Wednesday (Dec. 27), and will be officially unveiled next month at CES in Las Vegas. For now, it's simply being referred to as "LG’s smart home AI agent."
Looking a bit like a tiny Segway wearing headphones, the bot self-balances on two motorized wheels as it autonomously rolls across floors and carpets. It perceives its environment via both optical and depth-sensing cameras.
Combined with Qualcomm's Robotics RB5 Platform, these cameras allow the bot to identify human faces, pets and various household objects. Utilizing other onboard sensors, it can also monitor environmental data such as temperature, humidity and indoor air quality. If any of these factors are outside of their desired levels, the agent can wirelessly adjust connected appliances like furnaces, air conditioners or humidifiers.
Users can additionally set the robot to patrol their dwelling when they're not home. As it does so, it keeps an eye on pets while also watching for unusual activity such as break-ins. It additionally notices windows that have been left open, and lights that have been left on.
When it detects any such problems, the device sends a notification to the user's smartphone. In the case of lights that have accidentally been left on, the robot can connect itself to a "smart" wall outlet, from which it can turn the lights off.
And when the user gets home, the robot comes to the door to greet them (which might take a bit of getting used to). As LG describes it, the device then "discerns their emotions by analyzing their voice and facial expressions, and selects music or other content to suit their mood."
Of course, the bot can also be utilized in a traditional Alexa-like fashion. Utilizing voice recognition, natural language processing, a synthetic voice module and a speaker, it's capable of carrying on conversations with users regarding things like news, weather reports and daily schedules.
There's currently no word on when LG’s smart home AI agent will be available, or at what price.
Source: LG Electronics