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(CES 2020) Samsung plans to sell home robots in H2: exec

All News 13:58 January 08, 2020

By Joo Kyung-don

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 7 (Yonhap) -- Samsung Electronics Co. plans to launch home robots at affordable prices in the second half of the year, a company executive said Tuesday.

Kim Hyun-suk, president and CEO of Samsung's Consumer Electronics division, said Samsung's robotics products are expected to hit the market around June or July.

Samsung unveiled its bots lineup -- Bot Air, Bot Clean, Bot Chef and GEMS -- at last year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES), and Kim said then that some of the bots could be sold in the market within the year.

"I'm sorry that we didn't launch the bots last year," Kim said at a press meeting on the sidelines of CES 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. "We couldn't meet the price zones that consumers wanted, so that's why it was delayed."

In this photo provided by Samsung Electronics Co. on Jan. 7, 2020, a Consumer Electronics Show (CES) attendee tests GEMS, a wearable exoskeleton, at Samsung's CES booth at Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Kim didn't reveal which bots will be on sale in the second half, though he pointed out that GEMS, a wearable exoskeleton, isn't one of them.

Samsung introduced GEMS, or Gait Enhancing and Motivation System, as a robotics wearable that offers walking assistance. At the company's pre-show keynote on Monday, it demonstrated that GEMS can be also used as a fitness device for young people with augmented reality (AR) technology.

"It will take some time for GEMS to be launched in the market, and we're actually looking at the product in a different way," he said. "We want GEMS to focus on helping the elderly and people with walking disability, and to do so, it needs a FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approval."

Kim said the company targets to sell the bots at affordable prices.

"Speaking of the Korean market, I think local consumers will buy robots if their prices are about the same as large-size washers or dryers," he said.

Samsung's premium dryer costs about 1.5 million won (US$1,280) in South Korea.

In this photo provided by Samsung Electronics Co. on Jan. 7, 2020, a Consumer Electronics Show (CES) attendee checks out the CUBE mini fridge at Samsung's CES booth at Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Kim said the company also plans to launch new home appliances introduced at CES 2020, including a shoe refresher and Galaxy Home Mini smart speaker, in the first half of the year.

For its new home appliances to be offered under the company's Project PRISM, which allows consumers to personalize the materials, colors, shapes and designs of the products, Kim said washers and dryers will be the next items.

Samsung's first Project PRISM product was BESPOKE, a customizable refrigerator launched last year.

"We wanted to release our second Project PRISM product at the end of last year, but to have a greater impact, we thought it would be better to release end-January or early-February," he said. "We don't know what would be our third Project PRISM product, but it's going to be a product that received an award at CES."

In this photo provided by Samsung Electronics Co. on Jan. 7, 2020, Consumer Electronics Show (CES) attendees check out a BESPOKE refrigerator at Samsung's CES booth at Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

kdon@yna.co.kr
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