The robots are coming!

Jinoy Jose P | Updated on January 13, 2019

Temi’s sensors track you around your home

The latest edition of CES shows the machines are coming of age

If the latest edition of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is any indication, it’s time we sat up, took a deep breath and started thinking about living with robots all the time. Well, sort of. The marquee tech show has also shown that robots are taking all kinds of shapes and forms, and do pretty much everything from being a pillow to teaching you ping-pong.

South Korean Samsung rolled out, literally, a robot after a press meet. The Samsung Bot Care, one of the three robots Samsung introduced, can measure your heart rate and blood pressure, monitor how well you sleep (or not). In the morning, Samsung says, the Bot Care will update you on the weather and your health and will guide you to take medicines, etc. The other robot from Samsung, Bot Retail, helps you shop at stores and malls better, by helping you find products you want much more easily with its voice recognition and touch screen faculties. The third, Bot Air, is an air purifier with a difference, as it moves around your house and purifies air wherever needed.

Another similar robot introduced at the CES is UBTech’s UB Cruzr. If used in a shop, This robot puppy can go and greet incoming customers and lead them to products they need and can even get the products to customers.

Make me your companion

The event featured a series of robots that are human companions, doing myriad household chores. Kiki, a little robot from California-based Zoetic, can see, hear and feel touch. Its real eyes in fact sit in it nose (a camera that can spot its owner). This can be a nice pet-bot. It understands how you behave with it and updates its behaviour to match you. If you hug Kiki more often, it responds better to that behaviour. Kiki can feel 12 touch points and knows a lot about touches and hugs. Similarly, the Groove X Lovot has wheels and sharp eyes. It sports a large camera that helps it go around a room without hassles. It is soft and cuddly and can feel many kinds of touch.

Another interesting companion robot is Liku from Korean company Torooc. It literally observes its owner and develops a bond with the person and reacts with the same behavior. We loved its expressive eyes, which the company says can express five emotions -- pleasant, unpleasant, alarming, crying and sleeping. Most importantly, Liku knows a thing or two about the selfie!

Stanley Black & Decker Pria homecare robot can work as a healthcare assistant. The company says it can serve up to 28 doses of medication to the user. The robot will help the user contact doctors, family, friends and other important contacts via video. This feature would be a shot in the arm for those who need long-term medical care.

Walker, a walking robot from UBTech, drew a lot of attention at the CES for its sheer functionality and ease. It can move around your home, find items, open doors and can play music and other entertaining features through its built-in speakers. We loved the ‘finding and fetching things part a lot!

Now over to Temi. Temi’s sensors track you around your home. That means it, like a puppy, can follow you around and watch you. It opens the door and will greet you at the door, and it helps you charge your phone using its Qi wireless charging pad. One can control it using touch buttons and even via a mobile phone app, and it can be used for listening to music, video chats, and more.

The 18-inch Misty II from Misty Robotics is mostly meant for developers and apps. It helps developers build skills and test it on its platform. The process is so easy that the company says all it takes a developer to deliver a skill on Misty II is just 30 mins. That’s impressive.

On the industrial side, Chinese company JD Digit has a robot that inspects servers autonomously. The company says it can help engineers develop robots with more flexibility and efficiency. According to the company, the robot Integrates lidar, ultrasound, collision avoidance, fall prevention sensors, advanced speech recognition and control algorithms. This universal chassis can operate efficiently, safely, and stably. Its error for precious positioning is claimed to be less than 20 mm. That’s a precision human hands cannot achieve so easily, say experts.

Published on January 13, 2019

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