CES 2019 Robots in Vegas

 
Luka from Ling Technology at CES 2019

Luka from Ling Technology at CES 2019

It's so right that the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the largest and most prestigious tech show in the world is held in Las Vegas. Shiny objects everywhere. Just like Vegas, going to CES you'd better know what game you play. The distractions are endless. It's where the geeks and cool kids alike come to see what’s new. 

The show is divided across 4 locations. One is all about startups where you see young techies, eyes shining, wax poetic about their beautiful or sometimes ugly technology babies. When you get to the Las Vegas Convention Center you encounter the big boys. The REALLY big boys. This is where LG plays. 

I told you it was shiny. I went to see for myself what's the latest in robot hardware - I dabbled a little in AIs too, just couldn't help myself, but tried to stay clear of the 8k screens and drones. Oh, the drones! It's where I learned about the Drone Racing League. If only I were 21...there's an AI challenge in November. Be still my heart. 

 I digress, as one is wont to do when reminiscing about CES. 

Bocco at CES 2019. Photo by: Janneke Ritchie

Bocco at CES 2019. Photo by: Janneke Ritchie

I spent a lot of time looking at robots. These are the ones that I show everyone who asked about my CES adventure:

1.    Toyota’s Human Support Robot prototype. I'm exciting to see Toyota as a player in the service robot space. While it's not a surprise, seeing their commitment reminds about how big this tech play will be. 

2.    Milo by Robokind. Changing the lives of autistic children across the US. Milo is an example of how we can enhance the human experience.

3.    Cruzr by Ubtech. Feels like a useful form factor for retail transactional activities. The team had it set up so you could place coffee orders, although I’m not sure I’m ready to give up my barista’s smiling face and light banter about the weather for the Cruzr. But I’m definitely envisioning other use cases that will be a good fit.

4.    Bocco by Yukai Engineering. My favourite. Beautifully and elegantly designed. I can’t wait to buy one. It comes out in November. 

Sleep Robot by Somnox at CES 2019. Photo by: Janneke Ritchie

Sleep Robot by Somnox at CES 2019. Photo by: Janneke Ritchie

5.    Sleep Robot by Somnox. A pillow that simulates a breathing cadence to help you sleep. For me a reminder that robots that serve (so, service robots) need not have humanoid form factors. 

This year CES introduced me to some big players and little robots. While I had an amazing time in Las Vegas, I’m happy to be back in Toronto. I thought I could spend some quality time with my robots at home, but it turns out I’ll be on a plane again soon. I’ll be speaking in Singapore on February 20th at the National University of Singapore.