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. 

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