A new AI-powered vacuum cleaner and washer-drier duo could point to a future of automated home-cleaning.
Who hasn't lay in bed on a day-off envisioning a late rise and an easy day, only to find a litany of mundane chores invading their mind and forcing them to rise from bed grudgingly? At times like these, you may have dreamed of a robotic cleaning assistant, something like Rosie the Robot from the animated series the Jetsons, maybe?
Clearly, this plight has been playing on the minds of the engineers at Samsung, too.
At the consumer tech show, CES 2021² — held virtually this year due to the ongoing COVID 19 crisis — amongst announcements like freezers that produce spherical ice-balls and bio-engineered baby milk which can be tailored to the individual child, the South Korean electronics giant unveiled innovative new home appliances designed to automate daily tasks.
The devices were the JetBot 90 AI+ — and AI-driven vacuum clear — and new washers and driers that integrate Smart Dial Front Load technology that uses artificial intelligence to learn user preferences and recommend optimal washing and drying cycles.
"At Samsung, we're committed to delivering new appliance innovations that inspire families, while helping make life at home easier in ways not thought of before," says John Herrington, Senior Vice President, General Manager of Home Appliances in a press release¹.
Putting the Competition in a Spin- The New AI-Powered Washer-Dryer Pair
Washers and driers could be considered as the first household items that underwent an automation process. The first domestic automated washing machine was brought to market by the company Bendix Home Appliances in 1937³. The machine, which in many ways resembled today's front-loading machines, was prohibitively expensive and thus, it would take decades for such machines to become common in the average home.
Of course, since then washing machine technology has come on in leaps and bounds. For example, the addition of timing devices meant that the machine's operator no longer needed to continually monitor the machine.
The next step was the ability to check in on the washing from the couch or outside the home. That desire led to the development of smart washers that could connect to the user's smartphone for remote operation. Samsung's 8800 Series Smart Dial Front Load washers and dryers seem poised to take this interactivity even further.
But, as true smart tech should do, the machines also feature an algorithm that can learn its user's preferred cycles and settings and prioritizes them. Its intelligent learning can also recommend specific cycles based on intelligent learning of past cycles run on particular days of the week or at specific times.
The JetBot 90 AI+ Wipes the Floor with Previous Automated Vacuum Cleaners
Automated vacuum cleaners are hardly a new innovation. The first 'robotic vacuum cleaner' was introduced to the market in 1996 by Swedish home application developer Electrolux. The Electrolux Trilobite worked well enough, but frequently collided with objects and stopped short of walls and other obstacles. This left small areas uncleaned and ultimately resulted in its market failure and the discontinuation of the machine.
Arguably the most famous automated vacuum cleaner is iRobot's Roomba, which, upon its introduction in 2002, improved on the Trilobite by upgrading the sensors which help the robotic cleaner navigate the home. These sensors mean that the Roomba can not just detect obstacles, but can also 'sense' dirty areas of a room.
However, 2021 welcomes the JetBot 90 AI+ to the market. Samsung says that thanks to its combination of sensors and AI-enhanced object recognition technology their latest automated vacuum cleaner can navigate the home with the same level of care and efficiency as a more 'fleshy' cleaner can.
In fact, the JetBot 90 AI+ uses a LiDAR sensor similar to that employed in self-driving vehicles, allowing it to detect distance and track location for precise movements. In addition to this, Samsung says that JetBot 90 AI+ possesses a 3D sensor that recognizes the difference between a multitude of different objects and recognizes a room's shape to maneuver around it.
Smart Tech gets Smarter
In terms of that intelligence mentioned above, the electronics giant points towards an object recognition algorithm that is so precise it can allow the unit to maintain a safe distance from fragile or delicate objects, and to lower itself under furniture when needed, and even classify objects as dangerous or likely to cause secondary contamination. This allows it to simply avoid the object.
To make the JetBot 90 AI+ even 'smarter' it can also be connected to a smartphone, which allows the user to set a schedule and even define 'no-go zones' within the home.
"By automating your floor care and learning your laundry preferences, these new home appliances remove items from your to-do list, freeing you up to do more of what you love," concludes Herrington.
³ 'Detailed History of the Washing Machine,' Home Stratosphere, [https://www.homestratosphere.com/washing-machine-history/]