[Design Story] Creating a Vacuum Cleaner That Cares: The Samsung Jet Bot AI+Share open/close
From voice assistants that tell us the time and weather to automated cleaning units, robotics and AI technologies have already become a major part of everyday life. However, because our experiences with these technologies don’t always line up with our expectations, it may seem like we still have a way to go before AI and robotics become truly seamless.
Samsung Electronics’ designers envision a future in which robots are made to resemble, understand and care for users. Their approach to design is based on fostering natural interactions between technologies and users, rather than simply innovating for innovation’s sake.
The Jet Bot AI+* was designed with this approach in mind. The designers’ vision for a robot vacuum cleaner was one that could analyze users’ natural behaviors in order to provide a cleaning experience that catered to their daily lives and living spaces. The goal was to equip the device with a friendly personality that connected with people, as well as the ability to analyze situations and offer both pets and users their attention. A robot vacuum cleaner that was designed to resemble humans, the Jet Bot AI+* offers a more complete cleaning experience by carefully considering users’ needs.
A Robot That Cleans Like You
Standard robot vacuum cleaners require constant inspection, even when cleaning. This is because the devices tend to require a fair amount of guidance on how to clean your home. To make this process more efficient, Samsung’s designers wanted to design a robot vacuum that cleaned in a similar way to humans. They meticulously examined various functions and structures to enable the robot to manage cleaning independently from beginning to end.
“We thoroughly reviewed the entire process of a robot vacuum’s journey to create a device that didn’t rely on human intervention.”
– Nooree Nah, Designer
The Ability to Think
Many robot vacuum users have experienced those irritating incidents when the robot failed to recognize obstacles in its surroundings, leading it to malfunction or accidentally suck up bulky objects. In order to recognize obstacles and spaces without moving in monotonous lines, a robot vacuum needs to be able to think analytically, like a person.
The thinking process of the Jet Bot AI+* is based on proper perception and delicate sensitivity. The device’s LiDAR sensor behaves like an eye, allowing it to obtain a better understanding of its surroundings by scanning the structure of the house and building a map. Once it has learned the layout of your home, it identifies an optimal path to provide a more efficient clean. The device also features an object-recognition camera that’s been trained using more than a million images of various items, as well as a 3D sensor that can detect objects in front of it, which greatly reduces opportunities for errors.
An Agile Design
Cleaning requires constant and careful attention, especially when cleaning hard-to-reach areas such as under tables and chairs. Vacuums need to be appropriately sized in order to navigate freely between furniture and under narrow gaps.
When refining the structure of the Jet Bot AI+*, Samsung’s designers went to great lengths to ensure that the device’s size would be ideal for cleaning. In a balance of form and function, the LiDAR sensor located on the back of the device has been designed to protrude slightly, while the triangular front bumper includes an efficiently arranged brush, distance sensor and electric wheels. The brush, too, has been optimized for size, delivering a thorough clean wherever it goes.
A Hands-Free Clean
When cleaning a home, robot vacuum cleaners often require user intervention. For instance, users may be required to move their device to clean hard-to-reach areas, and empty the dust bin once it’s finished the job.
In order to clean like we do, a robot vacuum cleaner must be capable of locating and collecting dirt completely independently. The Jet Bot AI+* achieves this without any user intervention by mapping out your living space to detect areas that need to be cleaned and utilizing the Clean Station to empty its own dustbin.
A Sense of Character
Because robot vacuum cleaners tend to inform users of their cleaning routines in a mechanical way, they aren’t necessarily perceived as very ‘friendly’ devices. Samsung’s designers sought to change this. They envisioned a device that could understand and would genuinely care for users, treating them as if they were companions sharing the same living space. The Jet Bot AI+* offers that companionship, and builds strong relationships with users with its unique design and communication method.
“Our focus was to create a friendly AI that befriended the user as a helpful assistant, so they wouldn’t have to interact with a machine-like personality.”
-Yeonsu Kim, Designer
“We focused on designing a harmonious form that emphasized the combination of basic shapes.”
-Jaewon Choi, Designer
Instead of relaying information via a digital screen like other devices, the Jet Bot AI+* vividly expresses functions and situations with subtle lighting on a curved surface. Before cleaning, the lighting gradually increases, creating the impression that the device is opening its eyes and looking from side to side to examine the structure of the house. The 22 delicately designed lighting animations intuitively and expressively inform users of the robot’s status.
A Friendly Voice
The Jet Bot AI+* is equipped with Bixby, a mobile voice assistant developed by Samsung. Behavior and voice are important factors when it comes to determining personality. With this in mind, extensive research was carried out in various countries to develop a voice that was universally favorable among a diverse set of users.
The Jet Bot AI+’s* voice projects warmth thanks to its meticulously designed tone and manner. When relaying functions and information related to cleaning, the robot exudes reliability by communicating in a clear and direct tone. At other times, it speaks to users in a friendly manner to create a sense of companionship. The device’s witty responses to certain situations and questions make it seem that much more human and alive.
A Comforting Appearance
The Jet Bot AI+* is composed of a harmonious combination of circles and triangles that’s inspired by modern minimalistic design and can stand the test of time. The combination of the two most basic and familiar shapes completes the device’s geometric figure, and accentuates its image as a home mascot. Unlike conventional robot vacuum cleaners, whose designs primarily focus on emphasizing power, the Jet Bot AI+’s* simple and neat design focuses on blending in in any space.
A Sense of Caring
When designing the Jet Bot AI+,* Samsung sought to offer users a richer experience by creating a device that was not just a vacuum cleaner, but a life companion. Accordingly, the Jet Bot AI+* has been designed to go beyond simply thinking like a human being, to helping users knock out chores and lessening their burdens. The device’s pet care functions demonstrate how it makes pet owners’ lives easier by helping them care for their furry friends.
“We thought about pets being left alone at home and how worried their owners must feel when designing the pet care functions.”
-Dongmin Lee, Designer
Leave Home Without Worrying
The thought of leaving a pet alone at home can make many owners anxious. The Jet Bot AI+* offers pet owners peace of mind by allowing them to monitor their pet when they’re away from home. By roaming in designated spaces, the device enables users check in on their home and pets, and even allows them to use connected devices to adjust the temperature or lighting to alleviate any anxiety that their pets may be experiencing.
A Pet Companion
The Jet Bot AI+* not only allows users to monitor their pets, but is also constantly examining and managing pets’ needs. If, for instance, a pet exhibits abnormal behavior due to its owner’s absence, the robot will immediately notify the user and offer them helpful information relevant to the situation. The Jet Bot AI+* can also record pets at home, so users won’t have to miss out on any precious moments that they may have missed when they were away.
It’s clear that robotics and AI technologies are already playing significant roles in our everyday lives. This deep connection is a testament to the fact that, at their core, the inspiration for any product or technology stems from an understanding of basic human insights and needs.
To prevent technology from becoming inaccessible to users, each and every product experience must be carefully designed based on an understanding of human behaviors. Going forward, Samsung’s designers will continue to examine the many different elements that shape human behaviors in order to add more value to users’ lives and living spaces.
* The new product names go into effect on July 5, 2021. This is a change to the product name only. Jet Bot AI+ will become Bespoke Jet Bot AI+.
* Images shown are for illustrative purposes only and may differ from the actual product. The product’s release date and specifications may vary by country, region, and model.