Samsung Introduces Personal Assistant Robot Otto: Should Alexa Be Worried?

At the developer conference in San Francisco on April 27, Samsung unveiled its personal assistant robot named Otto to showcase its ARTIK Internet of Things platform.

Otto is almost similar to Amazon's Echo that houses Alexa, but while Samsung gave it some basic robotic features, the Korean technology leader took things a notch higher and introduced some new concepts.

A creation of the company's C-Lab division, Otto comes equipped with microphones and speakers and thus responds to questions like "What's the weather?" just like Alexa and Siri. It also has the ability to control IoT-powered functions at home such as lights and refrigerators. But unlike the other robotic creations, Samsung's Otto houses a small display that communicates with the owner through various "facial" expressions as well as animations.

For example, if it's raining, the display will show little animated drops of rain to indicate the weather condition. Also, the little guy can sing and dance while bobbing its face up and down, but the physical actions are limited to this extent only.

But unlike Alexa, Otto has a built-in HD camera that packs in a facial recognition feature and also doubles as a security camera, which sends the live video stream to your mobile or PC and enables you to adjust the camera angle from the mentioned devices.

By introducing this concept into its game plan, Samsung can soon have the competition worrying about how to up their own game. Up until now, we've only seen Nest's always-watching Camera and Amazon's always-listening Echo, but never have both features been put together into the same product before.

Unfortunately, robot Otto is not a final product that is available in the market, at least for now. It's only a prototype meant to showcase Samsung's potential commercially viable IoT products built off of the ARTIK platform.

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