Lenovo’s latest concept is a tiny robot that sits on top of your laptop.

Tara Brown/CNET

You can imagine my surprise when what I thought was a webcam suddenly sprouted a pair of eyes and blinked at me. 

Lenovo’s Magic Bay Robot, a concept accessory the PC giant showed off at CES 2024, doesn’t do much more than blinking and smiling for now. But the company sees potential for it to possibly be an adorable personal assistant that sits atop your computer, in yet another indication that tech giants are experimenting with new ideas for AI-powered gadgets and accessories. 

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The device itself is about the size and shape of a webcam, and it connects to the top of Lenovo laptops using the same pogo pin as the laptop maker’s other Magic Bay accessories. In its current concept state, the Magic Bay Robot is mostly just a visual companion that can change its facial expression. Sometimes its oversized eyes just cheerfully gaze back at you, other times they turn into stars to convey excitement. 

But Lenovo says it’s considering adding more functionality to the Magic Bay Robot, such as a speaker and microphone so that it can serve as a voice-enabled assistant. That means you might be able to ask the Magic Bay Robot what’s next on your calendar or to change a setting on your computer. Since it’s just a concept, it’s unclear how this functionality would differ from existing personal AI assistants like Microsoft Copilot — aside from the friendly face of course. 

Lenovo’s Magic Bay Robot is a cute little computer accessory, but it’s just a concept for now. 

Tara Brown/CNET

The robot is just one of several Magic Bay concept accessories Lenovo showcased at CES. Another standout was a miniature secondary screen you can attach to the top of your laptop, which generated some “oohs” and “ahhs” from the crowd of tech journalists that gathered to watch Lenovo’s presentation.

But the Magic Bay Robot also stands out because it’s another example of tech companies designing new hardware and accessories centered on AI following the rapid rise of ChatGPT. Microsoft, for example, also recently added a dedicated key for launching its Copilot assistant on Windows 11 laptops. 

Editors’ note: CNET is using an AI engine to help create some stories. For more, see this post.

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