Samsung's latest robot vac uses AI to recognize small obstacles
Samsung is claiming a few world firsts with its latest robot vacuum cleaner, which was originally launched at CES 2021 back in January. The Jet Bot AI+ is said to be the first to feature an active stereo-type 3D sensor for object detection, and the first equipped with Intel AI for object recognition.
"We’re truly excited to introduce a robot vacuum that comes with industry-leading object detection and recognition technologies," said Samsung's Hyesoon Yang. "Consumers can now clean their homes more intelligently and efficiently using the AI-powered Jet Bot that makes cleaning more personalized and convenient."
The company's design team wanted to equip the automated cleaning assistant with enough smarts that it could "actively and efficiently clean like humans" and do so without much intervention from users.
So, the vac's sensor suite starts with the 3D depth camera that's able to detect objects as small as a centimeter, helping the Jet Bot AI+ to avoid getting stuck on small obstacles as it cleans. And thanks to Intel AI, it can also determine what those objects are – based on a database containing a million images – and even classify some as not worth the risk.
So, for example, it can decide whether to clean as close as it can to an object such as a child's toy, or to take a more cautious approach when encountering things like a delicate glass tumblers or electrical cables. It can even determine if an obstacle might "cause secondary contamination" if it rolls too close, so it should avoid spreading pet poop around the floor.
There's a LiDAR sensor for room mapping too, which continually scans the room to generate optimal cleaning paths, and isn't fazed by low lighting. And a cliff sensor will prevent it tumbling down stairs.
Samsung says that with 30-W of cyclone suction power on tap, users can look forward to a deep, powerful clean, and that the system can automatically adjust suction power depending on the type of surface it encounters. A five-layer HEPA filtration setup is reckoned to remove 99.99 percent of micro-dust particles from incoming air, and all parts and filters are washable for extended use.
The robot vacuum itself has a dust capacity of 0.4 liters, and when full will return to the supplied Clean Station to empty its haul into a 2.5-l dust bag. The Jet Bot AI+ can trundle around for up to 90 minutes before its onboard Li-ion batteries start to run low, when it will park itself in the Clean Station for a top up – automatically resuming from where it left off when it's ready to roll.
The robovac comes with cooked-in Wi-Fi, and can be manually controlled or monitored via the SmartThings smartphone app, which can also be used to schedule rooms for cleaning, as well as areas to avoid (without needing to lay down any physical barriers). It's also compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant, in addition to Samsung's own Bixby voice assistant.
If a user gets anxious while away from home, the device can be entered into Patrol Mode and livestream images through the app for peace of mind. And Samsung is set to launch SmartThings Pet in August, which will allow users to check in on the family pooch. The feature will even sync with products from PetKit, to allow for such things as remote feeding or interaction with animal companions.
As you might expect, all that "world's first" tech and cleaning smarts doesn't come cheap. The Jet Bot AI+ is up for pre-order now, priced at US$1,299 and shown as shipping from August.
Product page: Jet Bot AI+