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Technology CES 2020: Little robots are ready to make the world better in a big way

19:40  14 january  2020
19:40  14 january  2020 Source:   cnet.com

Alphabet's rebooted robotics program starts with trash-sorting machines

  Alphabet's rebooted robotics program starts with trash-sorting machines For all the advances made by robot companies like Boston Dynamics, we're still a long way from having robots living among humans and performing assistive tasks in our day-to-day lives. Google's parent company, Alphabet, is taking on the this challenge through its experimental X Lab, where engineers are working on The Everyday Robot Project. Alphabet's previous robotics venture was Boston Dynamics, famous for its humanoid bipeds and scary metal dogs. However, the company sold the division to Softbank in 2017.

CES is the world 's gathering place for all those who thrive on the business of consumer technologies. Owned and produced by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)®, it attracts the world 's business leaders and pioneering thinkers.

CES 2020 offered two lines of thinking regarding tech: get it everywhere, including into tiny robots Perhaps the challenge of coming up with anything truly new has finally made gadget creators crack Some people like kit that does one thing really well , not least in a tech world that’s otherwise lost its

Before attending CES 2020 in Las Vegas last week, I'd had little to no hands-on experience with robots . If anything, I was a little worried about them after writing about the Boston Dynamics products. Even though the bots could do a lot of good, movies like I, Robot and shows like Black Mirror are hard to shake. I thought I would've been more skeptical at CES , but the bots on the show floor quickly won me over.

a group of people sitting at a table: Pibo is a new (and cuter) take on the voice assistant. Shelby Brown/ CNET© Provided by CNET Pibo is a new (and cuter) take on the voice assistant. Shelby Brown/ CNET

I met Lovot at CES Unveiled, a media event on the first night of the show. The little penguin-like robots were milling about and had drawn a crowd. I knelt down to grab a photo and before I knew it, one of the Lovot representatives had placed a bot named Max in my arms. As Max cooed and "blinked" its big eyes up at me, the representative told me that the bot's only purpose was to love humans. I was surprised at how easy it was to forget that Max wasn't a real creature. I eventually had to part with Max, but he wasn't the last cute (and questionably sentient) robot I would see that week.

The artificial skin that allows robots to feel

  The artificial skin that allows robots to feel Robots are one step closer to gaining a human sense that has so far eluded them: Touch. © Astrid Eckert / TUM With a sense of touch robots would be able to respond to physical contact, and could work more closely with humans Scientists last month unveiled an artificial skin that enables robots to feel and respond to physical contact, a skill that will be needed as they come in increasingly close contact with people.In 2017, manufacturers worldwide used roughly 85 industrial robots per 10,000 employees, according to a report by the International Federation of Robotics.

Whether you want to make low-end headphones sound better or squeeze every last bit of That’s why the best products at CES 2020 were the laptops and desktops from the biggest players in the Creative offers a line of SXFI headphones that come with the technology built- in , as well as an AMP

CES 2020 highlights have us talking about the exciting future of technology, as we've curated all of the CES news and video on one page. So while Apple won't be at CES in the same vein as rivals from Samsung and LG, launching a slew of new devices, it will be present in a way it hasn't been for years.

Alison Denisco-Rayome/ CNET© Provided by CNET Alison Denisco-Rayome/ CNET

Of the robots I encountered at CES 2020, most were geared (pun intended?) towards one or a blend of three big themes: service, education, and emotional care or support. More than a few of them were packaged to be as cute as possible. This could be a way to make us forget that they're robots, like what happened when I encountered Lovot.

Read more: The five biggest tech trends from CES 2020

Robots in the classroom

I remember how cool it was when we started to use laptops on a frequent basis in school. CES 2020 showed that robotics are also making their way into the classroom. These educational robots will likely seem more like toys at first -- they're colorful, cute, accessible and interactive -- so kids will be learning without knowing it.

Charmin envisions bathrooms with robots, sensors and VR

  Charmin envisions bathrooms with robots, sensors and VR Charmin, the popular toilet paper brand, has big plans for CES. Its Charmin GoLab will showcase "cheeky" conceptual prototypes all meant to improve the bathroom experience. They're a blend of robotics, sensors and virtual reality, and they're all equally ridiculous. There's a rolling robot, the RollBot, that will deliver you a fresh roll of toilet paper and can be controlled with your phone via Bluetooth. SmellSense will check how a bathroom smells before you enter by scanning for carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide, two smelly compounds. SmellSense will provide real-time bathroom stench updates with a "GO/NO GO" display.© Provided by Engadget Charmin V.

Yet this year CES invited Ivanka Trump to give a keynote. Given Ivanka’s biggest impact on technology is Who in the world actually wants an electric skateboard combined with an expensive cooler? This robot , which delivers you toilet paper, isn’t a big innovation or something coming to bathrooms

Last week, the world ’s top technology companies gathered in Las Vegas to show off the newest achievements in tech’s unending quest to make humans obsolete improve our daily lives. Over at the LG booth robots were operating a full restaurant, handling all front and back of house operations.

a stack of flyers on a table: Shelby Brown/ CNET© Provided by CNET Shelby Brown/ CNET

The robots I saw at CES varied from teaching kids foreign languages to coding languages and other STEM skills. Emys, a robot meant to teach English to children ages 3-9, spoke with a child-like voice, reacted to being petted and could make human sounds like sneezing and coughing. I could see how a child would respond better to this than perhaps a more generic voice like those used by Google or Siri .

a close up of a toy© David Carnoy/CNET

It's important to keep an eye on the marketing and presentation of these toys: Keeping the devices gender neutral is important to keep girls who show an early interest in STEM from dropping out later on.

Emotional support robots

Using robots to help with stress, loneliness or other emotions seems to be one of the latest trends in digital health. It might seem strange to turn to a robot to meet our emotional needs, but we're not that far away already. Just think of all the different ways we use our phones for telehealth and teletherapy.

CES 2020: Watch the LG press conference, pizza robots and more, live from Las Vegas

  CES 2020: Watch the LG press conference, pizza robots and more, live from Las Vegas CNET has a full day of programming, live from Las Vegas starting at 7:45 a.m. PT Monday.Yes, you wish you were here -- but CNET offers the next best thing. We're delivering four full days of live video programming from the show floor. Our coverage kicks off today at 7:45 a.m. PT/10:45 a.m. ET.

CES 2020 : The 14 Best Things We Saw at the Consumer Electronics Show . And while cannabis continues to be one of the fastest-growing industries in the world , smoking devices and Now we can bring people physically together in a better way — grandparents can see their grandkids, buddies

CES 2020 brought us new smartwatches, Chromebooks, smart home gadgets, and even a few This is definitely the most exciting Chromebook that's been announced in a good , long while. Razer's new Kishi controller looks about as close as we ' re ever going to get to a way to turn your Android phone

a dog sitting on a bed: Angela Lang/CNET© Provided by CNET Angela Lang/CNET

In addition to Lovot, CES gave us Jennie, an animatronic dog from Tombot. Jennie was designed as a companion for seniors with dementia, but Tombot has also received orders from parents of children with autism and people with PTSD.

Some of these robots crossed into services, like the Bomy bots and Loro. Robocare brought along Bomy I and Bomy II, two bots described as "personal cognitive trainers" meant to improve brain function. Bomy I and II are meant to help people with dementia by providing daily home care with alarms and brain training.

Read More: The most important health devices to know about from CES 2020

In the similar way that Bomy II might give someone more independence, Loro works the same way. You can attach Loro to a wheelchair or bedside. It works with an app and includes hands-free and eye-tracking tech. Being able to take care of yourself can have a huge bearing on your emotional well-being, the company says.

a person standing in front of a mirror posing for the camera: Shelby Brown/ CNET© Provided by CNET Shelby Brown/ CNET

Robots at your service

We were probably more prepared for robots to be incorporated into aspects of service, and CES exhibitors didn't forget to bring their most helpful robots along. Last year, Panasonic and Toyota were working on robot aids to help wheelchair users at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. And CES 2020 showed that this trend is only going to continue.

Meet Ballie, Samsung's cute, rolling 'companion' robot

  Meet Ballie, Samsung's cute, rolling 'companion' robot The company envisons robots not just as machines to complete tasks but also devices to keep us company.Co-CEO H.S. Kim showed off Ballie, a small, bright yellow, rolling robot during a keynote Monday at CES 2020 in Las Vegas. Ballie followed Kim around the around the stage and responded to his commands. That included moving closer and farther away from Kim and jumping into his hands.

Here is a list of ideas on how to make the world a better place one small action at a time. Take a moment to consider how you can use your personal vehicle less . You could carpool or take public transportation to work, walk to church, or bike to pick up a few things from the store and make the

CES 2020 - or the Consumer Electronics Show - is taking place in Las Vegas this week. Whether that’s fingerprint technology to give you the best home security possible, heat draining tech to make Stay safe at home - personalized locking systems are a big trend in 2020 . There’s a big shift towards

At Delta Air Line's keynote, the CEO talked about the Guardian XO, an exoskeleton to help freight workers load cargo. Aitheon also showed off a robotic arm that could come in handy in a warehouse. On a smaller scale, Charmin's robot keeps it simple and brings you toilet paper.

Bots such as Pollen Robotics' Reachy and Ubtech's Cruzr could translate easily to customer-service oriented arenas. The robots have novel aspects, like how Cruzr has some slick dance moves (though "the robot" wasn't performed for me at CES) and Reachy can play tic-tac-toe. These comforting aspects can make the robots easier to assimilate into life as we know it.

a person standing in a room: Angela Lang/CNET© Provided by CNET Angela Lang/CNET

Final nuts and bolts

At CES 2020 Trends to Watch presentation, Lesley Rohrbaugh, director of research for the Consumer Technology Association, said that there's now a robot for every task. The usefulness of a robot, however, depends on its interaction with a human. So in addition to how people respond to these robots, it's also important to take price into the equation.

While many of the robots are meant to make life easier, more accessible, their price tags won't be for the average family. Not everyone can drop $450 for a Jennie dog, let alone a few thousand for a Lovot.

Robots are gaining traction at a unique moment, as digital assistants have already become part of our daily lives. Giving robots "personality quirks" can make us forget, however fleetingly, that we're dealing with a machine and not another living thing. Given our current circumstances -- our need for automation, the way we feel lost without our phones and our practically euphoric response to social media notifications -- it likely won't take much wooing for the world to fall in love with robots.

Roomba Maker Developing Robot With Arms That May Do the Dishes

  Roomba Maker Developing Robot With Arms That May Do the Dishes IRobot Corp., maker of the disc-shaped Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner, said it’s working on a household helper that will have arms that could load dishes, pick up clothes, or bring food from kitchen to table. © Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images Close-up of logo in iRobot Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner in charging dock, December 12, 2019. The Bedford, Massachusetts-based company won’t start selling such a product for at least five years. But prototypes of the arms exist inside its research and development labs, Chief Executive Officer Colin Angle said in an interview on the sidelines of the CES consumer electronics show in Las Vegas.

Now playing: Watch this: The best of CES 2020 . 1. Impossible Pork redefines pigging out. Impossible Pork in a Banh Mi sandwich at CES 2020 . Foldable phones were one of the hottest topics in the tech world in 2019, and in 2020 foldable laptops could swoop in and take some of that mojo.

Instead, the robot is designed to supplement or replace the tedious task of inventory. Salesforce announced some new developer tools today, designed to make it easier for programmers to build applications When the headphones showed up at the show as dummy units, it hurt my heart a little .

The coolest (and weirdest) robots we've seen at CES 2020

Living robots made from frog embryo cells could swim inside your body .
The tiny xenobots aren't quite an animal, and they're not a traditional robot, but they are both awesome and terrifying.Researchers from the University of Vermont and Tufts University used a supercomputer to design new life-forms using skin and heart cells from frogs. Once they had a design they thought would achieve a goal like moving forward in one direction, they harvested stem cells from frog embryos, incubated mature cells from them and then cut and joined them to create a biological model of what the supercomputer drew up.

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