Imagine you work in a manufacturing plant where your job is to hang a car door on a hinge with the help of a large robot. You're using a lever to guide the bot to the precise drop-off location, so you need to be close enough to see what you're doing. Chances are, you want this bot to be as intelligent as possible, unless of course you're willing to risk life and limb for some kind of disability pay.
LAS VEGAS -- With the unveiling Wednesday of Suitable Technologies' Beam+, telepresence robots are becoming more affordable for many of the people who need them most.
Over the last few years, a range of companies have built telepresence robots -- devices that roll around, connecting people remotely through the use of video screens and microphones. But until now, many of the robots have been too costly for all but a few people, and have mainly belonged in the corporate world.
The importance of CES as a showcase for major consumer product launches has undoubtedly lessened over the past few years. Big companies choose to launch their big products at smaller events; places where they can control the tone, control the tempo, and control the access. Thankfully, that opening void has been more than filled by two things: cars and startups.
It's the latter category that's been really opening our eyes of late, small, independent entrepreneurs and crowd-funded darlings who have been filling the halls of CES' Eureka Park with an unpredictable collection of frequently awesome products and services. … Read more
Few robots put fear in the heart of criminals quite like RoboCop.
To coincide with this week's CES 2014 trade show, a video -- apparently from CES 2027 -- has been released a bit on the early side to promote the "RoboCop" remake, due to reach theaters on February 12.
In the remake, which takes place in 2028 Detroit, a police officer is critically injured in the line of duty. OmniCorp, the film's corporate bad guy, sees this as its chance to create a part-man, part-robot police officer. … Read more
LAS VEGAS -- It was an unforgettable scene: A crowd of smiling people gathered around a table on the show floor watching a charming, animated, and lifelike green robot dinosaur called Pleo for the first time.
Wait, though. It was CES 2014. Indeed, if you walk the floor of the Robotics section of the giant consumer electronics trade show here this week, you'll see Pleo, as charming … Read more
LAS VEGAS -- I've done my good deed for the day.
To get CES attendees to visit the massive consumer electronics show's less-popular areas, CES put on a scavenger hunt this week. To play, participants run the show's official mobile app and head out on a trip around Vegas looking for nine hidden wireless iBeacons.
The app offers general information about their locations, essentially the name of a specific industry area, like 3D printing, or digital health, and the building it's located. Once there, the app alerts players that an iBeacon (which wirelessly transmits its location to mobile devices, as well as the distance to those devices) is nearby and gives them an approximate distance to the treasure. … Read more
LAS VEGAS -- The Ozobot is a little, vaguely spherical robot who just wants to know if you can come out and play. Looking a bit like a miniature R2D2 head, it roams across tablet tops or even offline board games. It's one little gadget for both the digital world and the physical world.
At its most basic, the Ozobot follows lines. There are five sensors on the underside that help it stay on tracks, whether those tracks are digital games on a tablet screen or marker lines on a piece of paper. It doesn't stop there. The Ozobot also sees color and reads flashes, so various combinations of those give it specific behavioral instructions. It may goose it into turbo speed mode, or spin it around, or slow it down. There are untold potential combinations.… Read more
LAS VEGAS -- iRobot has just introduced a brand-new floor-scrubbing 'bot to the lineup -- the Scooba 450. This $599 hard-surface-washing robot claims to be able to get rid of up to 99.3 percent of the gunky build-up on your hard flooring surfaces -- that includes potentially harmful bacteria like E. coli and S. aureus. The 450 will round out iRobot's floor scrubber offerings, which already include the $499 Scooba 390 and the $279 Scooba 230.
As the premium Scooba option, the 450 will come with new features and what iRobot says is more advanced tech than previous … Read more
The children's book "LEO the Maker Prince" introduces readers to LEO, a talking robot and 3D printer who can print anything in plastic that his friend Carla draws. Leo's robot pals also share his love for making 3D objects and can print in metal, or from a catalog of designs.
And here's where things get really fun. As young readers follow the characters' adventures through Brooklyn, they themselves learn how to explore their creativity through 3D printing. Design files of all the objects and characters from the book can be downloaded from Thingiverse, including Carla and LEO's adorable sheep. … Read more
LAS VEGAS -- Want video entertainment wherever you go in your house? Keecker has you covered.
At CES on Monday, the Paris-based company unveiled its new mini robot, an entertainment system on wheels that can roll around any house, bringing video and audio entertainment, as well as mobile audio and video capture wherever you go.
The new robot, which is 25 inches tall and 16 inches wide, is expected to be released in the fourth quarter of 2014 at a price of between $4,000 and $5,000. It is designed to project video and capture audio or video in … Read more