Now that AI is getting to the point where we can use it on a daily basis, it’s time we started putting them into metal bodies so we can have the robot butlers we’ve always wanted. And that’s exactly what some companies were doing at CES 2018.
Here are some of the coolest (and some fail) robots at the event this year.
Kuri the home robot
A product of California-based Mayfield Robotics, Kuri is a an adorable knee-high bot that can navigate around your home thanks to depth sensors. It learns your routine in order to be the perfect helper, waking you up at the right time, and greeting you when you get home. It also has a 1080p camera that can shoot photos and video, speakers to play your music choices and, for some reason, pressure sensors in its head that let it known when you’re petting it and purr in response. (Um, aside from the camera and speakers, that’s basically a cat guys). Kuri is voice-activated, syncs with your iPhone or Android, and has a two-hour battery life right now. It’s currently available for $799.
CX-1 robotic suitcase
This adorable suitcase on wheels is designed to make your travel stress free. The idea is that it follows you around like a puppy, thanks to a sensor you can carry on your person, leaving your hands free to hold your kid, sip a coffee, or whatever else. According to the manufacturer, China-based ForwardX, the CX-1 also features an anti-theft system, self-navigation, and a built-in security camera. You can also direct it using gestures, which it first checks are really coming from its owner, using facial recognition.
Buddy the social robot
Buddy is similar to Kuri in design, except it has a display instead of round head, and for some reason giant anime eyes. According to Blue Frog Robotics, Buddy works as your digital assistant, as well as a smart hub for connected IoT devices in your home. You can control the bot using a synced smartphone app.
Aeolus robot (or Rosie from The Jetsons)
Aeolus’s a prototype robot that will remind you of Rosie from The Jetsons cartoon. As of now, Aeoluss can grab objects and hand them over. It can clean your home’s floor with a vacuum cleaner, making sure it doesn’t bump into objects and furniture lying around. It has cameras for eyes that let Aeolus sense its surrounding.
Thanks to those camera eyes, Aeolus can guard your home from intruders. Because it learns to recognize your face and faces of people it encounters in the house more often, and can sense strangers very well. What’s more, Aeolus also has Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant built-in, which pretty much makes it the best robot butler to have in your house.
CLoi is more of a digital assistant from LG than a robot, though her smart hub body does feature a display that emotes using “face” LEDs. She was meant to be the cherry on the cake at LG’s event at CES, showing how she can be used alongside other smart home gadgets like washing machines, refrigerators, and more. Instead, CLoi realised she had had enough of being treated like a trophy to show off to executives and journalists, and instead ignored LG’s Vice President of Marketing David VanderWaal almost all through his presentation. Then again, if we’re so set on making our AI more life-like, temperamentality might one day become a built-in feature.
The most famous robot in recent memory, Sophia, was also present at CES 2018, giving interviews to whoever would sit to chat with her. Despite being far ahead of other attempts at mimicking human conversation, she’s still only a stepping stone to true robots in the future. In fact, while she was still mounted on an immobile base at CES, with only her head moving and face emoting, the developers have claimed they’re also given her humanoid legs soon. She’s still a far cry from passing the Turing test, but that hasn’t stopped her from winning her citizenship in Saudi Arabia.