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CES 2021: Robots Become More Personable

by Ville-Petteri Ukonaho | 1月 14, 2021

CES 2021 has gone virtual this year, as the Coronavirus has stopped in-person trade shows in their tracks. Instead of thousands of people flocking to Las Vegas, the event is held as a series of press conferences by hundreds of companies showcasing their latest innovations and products.

This post examines some of the most interesting robotics stories from CES 2021.

Robots from Samsung and LG

Samsung introduced several new robots at CES 2021. The three robots are clearly intended for consumer use: the JetBot AI Plus robot vacuum, the Bot Care personal assistant robot and the Bot Handy robot.

The JetBot 90 AI+ is a clear competitor for the Roomba vacuum cleaners that are leading the industry in the consumer segment. The JetBot uses laser-based lidar and a video camera to examine its environment. According to Samsung, this hardware lets the JetBot identify the objects it needs to avoid as it vacuums, from small phone cables to large pieces of furniture. Another neat trick the JetBot 90 AI can do is empty its own dustbin automatically. The JetBot has a charging dock that pulls dirt from the robot and into a disposable vacuum bag when required. Availability and pricing have not yet been disclosed.

The Bot Care robot is a personal assistant that keeps track of users’ daily activities and uses AI to learn owners routines. It can serve as both a robotic assistant and companion. It can learn users schedules and habits and send reminders to help guide user throughout the day.

The Bot Handy is designed to help with chores around the house. The Bot Handy will be able to tell the difference between the material composition of various objects, and, using its robotic arm, judge the appropriate amount of force to grab and move household items and objects. User can ask it to complete tasks like pick up clothing, set the table, put away groceries, and load the dishwasher. It can even pour a glass of wine (though no word on whether it can recommend the appropriate vintage to go with dinner).

For now the Care and Handy robots are prototypes of what Samsung is working on, thus no pricing or availability was announced. But as an example of what’s to come, they are very cool.

LG, long a leader in robotics, introduced an autonomous disinfecting robot at CES. Targeted for hospitals, hotels, restaurants and other businesses, the robot uses ultraviolet light to disinfect. The five foot-tall robot has an array of three ultraviolet (UV-C) lights on each side that disinfect areas as it drives itself throughout the room. Its light detection and ranging (LIDAR) sensors follow the room's dimensions and can disinfect a room in 10 to 12 minutes. LG plans to begin shipping the robot this year in April and is working with FDA and other agencies to certify its virus-killing abilities.


These robots from LG and Samsung are a logical continuum for their intention to tap into new markets. Samsung is already strong in the RVC area and the JetBot 90 AI+ complements its offering and is a tough competitor to the iRobot Roomba i7- and i9- series, market leaders in the premium RVC segment. LG has already established itself as a leading provider of professional service robots; a disinfection robot fits nicely into its line-up. LG is not alone in this area as many robot vendors, such as Ubtech with its Adibot-series, have created this new device category because of the COVID-19 pandemic and have brought disinfection robots to the markets.

Kids robot from Robosen

Robosen showcased its newest high-end toy robot, the K1 Interstellar Scout. The programmable bot has 17 servo motors at the joints to give it a wide range of movements. It is best used as a tool to teach kids programming. It follows voice commands or can be driven via an app. The app, for both Android and iOS, encourages trying out various activities with the K1. There are multiple ways to program the K1 to perform a wide variety of actions which helps capture the curiosity of children. The K1 robot will start shipping from January 2021. Prices vary, but the Pro model will retail for US$300.


The K1 robot taps into the fast-growing segment of educational hobby/toy robots that have become popular. Teaching kids robotics begins in many countries already in kindergarten thus these types of devices benefit from that. We do see a strong market demand for these types of robots but there are already plenty of vendors offering similar solutions and Robosen robot does not differ enough from the ones like Ubtech Alpha -series.

Pet and Educational Robots on display

Several Robots that were already introduced last year were also showcased in the virtual CES. Here are few of the most interesting ones from educational and therapeutical areas.

Embodied showcased its Moxie educational robot that helps children build social, emotional, and cognitive skills through everyday play-based learning and the delivery of educational content. Kids can play with Moxie by helping it explore and learn human experiences and life skills, like learning new words or chatting about kids experiences. Parents will be able to control Moxie through an app, which will let them check their child’s progress and limit their Moxie usage. The robot itself retails for US$1500, and requires a US$60 monthly subscription after the first year.  This pricing (as with many robots) obviously narrows its addressable market to more affluent customers.