LG has unveiled a ball-like home-monitoring robot at Mobile World Congress 2016, Barcelona, that can be remotely controlled via an Android app and used to entertain lonely pets.
The WiFi-connected robot - essentially a white high-tech ball - features an integrated camera capable of capturing 1080p video that can be streamed in real time to the owner’s phone. While on holiday or at work, the robot’s owner can take a stroll through his or her house to make sure everything is in order. In this way, the robot can be remotely controlled from anywhere in the world, as long as it’s connected to WiFi.
Primarily designed to work with LG’s new flagship G5 smartphone, the robot can also function as a smarthome hub, allowing the user to remotely switch on and off other connected appliances, such as TVs or air-conditioning units.
The biggest marketing hook may be the fact that the robot can be used by the owner to keep an eye on and entertain pets while the owner is away from home. The robot is equipped with a laser pointer, which LG expects cats and dogs will enjoy chasing. For more immediate contact, the robot has built-in speakers and a microphone through which the pet owner can talk to the lonely animal and in turn hear whether they are barking or miaowing or otherwise in distress.
Even if the owner is too preoccupied to remotely engage with the pet, the robot has an automatic function that can provide pet entertainment on pressing a button.
LG has not yet unveiled the price of the Rolling Bot, which is primarily marketed as one of the Friends, or accessories, for the modular G5 phone.
Battery life is one of the major limitations. The Rolling Bot can only run for about two hours before needing a recharge. It can be charged either through the LG G5 cable or via a parking platform, which it can access independently of human intervention.