The 8 coolest robots spotted at CES 2020

The chuckle-inducing toilet paper robot and food-serving BellaBot aren’t the only smart machines causing a stir.

CES 2021 must-read coverage

CES[1] is notorious for hosting wacky and weird gadgets[2], and CES 2020[3] is keeping the tradition alive with a significant number of robots.

Between robots that can do your heavy lifting and those that can deposit cat food, CES presented a bevy of options for those interested in the robotics market. 

SEE: Robotics in the enterprise (ZDNet/TechRepublic special feature) | Download the free PDF version (TechRepublic)[4][5]

Here is a compilation of some of the most-talked about robots this week at the annual conference in Las Vegas. 

8 must-see robots at CES 

1. Charmin’s RollBot[6]

One of the products receiving a lot of attention[7] at CES 2020 is the RollBot[8]. From Procter & Gamble and Charmin’s GoLab, the RollBot delivers toilet paper to those stuck in compromising positions without a roll. 

The prototype resembles a cartoon bear on wheels[9] and uses infrared sensors to navigate toward humans in need of TP. The toilet paper sits on top of the robot, above its little bear head, but must be placed there before it’s needed. RollBot can bring the toilet paper to a person, but cannot independently retrieve it. Currently not for sale, the robot was presented as a prototype at CES.

2. Samsung’s Ballie robot[10]

Samsung’s Ballie is a tennis ball-sized life companion[11], reported ZDNet. Ballie is a small, round, rolling robot that is designed to support, understand, and react to the needs of its owner, specifically in households. 

With on-device artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, Ballie uses sensors and data within the home to create immersive experiences for the user. Ballie can connect with and control other smart devices in one’s home to help improve daily life, according to a press video[12]

3. Guardian XO robotic super suit[13]

Robotics company Sarcos introduced the Guardian XO super suit at CES 2020. The robotic exoskeleton is made to be worn by workers, allowing the average person to lift or manipulate heavy loads in excess of 100 pounds[14], all while using natural body movements, reported ZDNet.

Delta’s frontline employees are some of the first to work with Guardian XO[15], with potential use cases including handling freight in Delta Cargo warehouses, or lifting heavy machinery. The industrial exoskeleton will help boost productivity, while reducing injuries, according to a press release[16]

4. BellaBot[17]

The robotic waiter, BellaBot[18], may be one of the more aesthetically pleasing robots at the show. With a digital cat face display and meowing abilities, the friendly robot from PuduTech is equipped with four-layer trays, multiple delivery functions, position and navigation systems, and scheduling algorithms, according to a press release[19].

BellaBot’s face changes expressions in various ways when reacting with people and contains a tactile feedback system, making it more life-like. Intended to replace waiters, the delivery robot is able to carry 120 small plates, 39 large plates, and 33 bowls in on delivery, according to the release. 

5. LOVOT[20]

Groove X’s huggable robot, LOVOT[21], is a CES 2020 Innovation Award Product honoree. Another cute companion, LOVOT resembles a mixture of a bear and an owl, with a soft and warm body that allows uses to hug and pet, according to a press release[22].

LOVOT can move around a user’s home autonomously, acting as emotional support and a source of happiness. With 10 touch sensors, LOVOT can detect when it is being touched. 

With the LOVOT app, LOVOT can take photos of users when they are smiling, create a diary of interactions, serve as a baby monitor, and even patrol the house as a form of security, according to the release. 

6. Toyota T-HR3 humanoid partner robot[23]

Toyota’s T-HR3[24], powered by NVIDIA GPU technology, is known as Toyota’s innovation robot[25]. Featured at CES 2020, T-HR3 can smoothly move and control the force of its body using its advanced synchronizations system and master maneuvering system[26].
 
The system is controlled by a human operator wearing a virtual reality (VR) headset. T-HR3 receives the data through augmented video and perception data via a NVIDIA’s Jetson AGX Xavier computer within the robot, according to a NVIDIA blog post[27]

7. Digit from Agility Robotics[28]

Agility Robotics’ Digit robot is ideal for factory and industrial uses. With Ford Motor Company being the first customer[29], purchasing two of the robots for factories and deliveries, Digit will help make warehousing and delivery more efficient for the car manufacturer.

Digit is a bipedal robot with an upper torso, arms, and sensors. Its arms allow the robot to get up if it falls, wave for balance, push open doors, as well as carry objects. The arms are able to pick up and stack boxes weighing up to 40 pounds, which is ideal for factory settings, according to a press release[30]

8. MarsCat robot[31]

Another friendly faced robot, MarsCat is a bionic pet cat[32] developed by Elephant Robotics. Similar to a real cat, MarsCat is completely autonomous and responsive to interactions, with the ability to feel touch, hear voices, see faces, and play with toys, according to a press release[33].

Powered by quad-core Raspberry Pi, MarsCat was available for play at CES 2020.[34]  

For more, check out NVIDIA shows off autonomous tech for cards and robots at CES 2020[35] on TechRepublic

Also see 

lovot.jpglovot.jpg

Image: Elephant Electronics

References

  1. ^ CES (www.techrepublic.com)
  2. ^ notorious for hosting wacky and weird gadgets (www.cnet.com)
  3. ^ CES 2020 (www.cnet.com)
  4. ^ Robotics in the enterprise (www.zdnet.com)
  5. ^ Download the free PDF version (www.techrepublic.com)
  6. ^ Charmin’s RollBot (www.cnet.com)
  7. ^ receiving a lot of attention (www.zdnet.com)
  8. ^ RollBot (www.cnet.com)
  9. ^ The prototype resembles a cartoon bear on wheels (www.techrepublic.com)
  10. ^ Samsung’s Ballie robot (www.zdnet.com)
  11. ^ tennis ball-sized life companion (www.zdnet.com)
  12. ^ press video (news.samsung.com)
  13. ^ Guardian XO robotic super suit (www.zdnet.com)
  14. ^ allowing the average person to lift or manipulate heavy loads in excess of 100 pounds (www.zdnet.com)
  15. ^ Delta’s frontline employees are some of the first to work with Guardian XO (www.cnet.com)
  16. ^ press release (www.sarcos.com)
  17. ^ BellaBot (www.zdnet.com)
  18. ^ BellaBot (www.zdnet.com)
  19. ^ press release (www.businesswire.com)
  20. ^ LOVOT (www.ces.tech)
  21. ^ huggable robot, LOVOT (www.cnet.com)
  22. ^ press release (www.ces.tech)
  23. ^ Toyota T-HR3 humanoid partner robot (www.zdnet.com)
  24. ^ Toyota’s T-HR3 (www.zdnet.com)
  25. ^ Toyota’s innovation robot (www.toyota-global.com)
  26. ^ advanced synchronizations system and master maneuvering system (www.toyota-global.com)
  27. ^ according to a NVIDIA blog post (blogs.nvidia.com)
  28. ^ Digit from Agility Robotics (www.techrepublic.com)
  29. ^ Ford Motor Company being the first customer (www.techrepublic.com)
  30. ^ press release (www.agilityrobotics.com)
  31. ^ MarsCat robot (www.cnet.com)
  32. ^ MarsCat is a bionic pet cat (www.kickstarter.com)
  33. ^ press release (www.kickstarter.com)
  34. ^ MarsCat was available for play at CES 2020. (www.youtube.com)
  35. ^ NVIDIA shows off autonomous tech for cards and robots at CES 2020 (www.techrepublic.com)
  36. ^ Sign up today (www.techrepublic.com)

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