CES 2017 will always be remembered as the show where we met our future robot overlords -- and were foolishly disarmed by how darn cute they were.
Even when, back in December,, we didn't realize quite how many bots we would encounter. The droids are truly out in force and injected a real sense of fun and excitement into this year's show.
It all started with LG, which kicked off its press conference early in the week: one to run your home, one to cut your lawn and one to greet you at the airport.
If robots have been a big trend of the show, the prevalence of Amazon's Alexa voice assistant has been even bigger. There was definite overlap between the two, with several robots packing the power of Alexa, including Mykie the kitchen assistant from Bosch, LG's Hub Robot and Lynx from UBTech.
A handful of robotics companies in attendance were there not to unveil new products, but to showcase new skills and capabilities their robots have recently gained. Softbank's Pepper robot played a game of Cards Against Humanity with us, for example. And a robot barista poured a perfect cup of joe, showing how humans who make coffee for a living could eventually be out of a job.
Along with the many robots designed to play a key role in smart homes, there were also several educational robots at the show. These included Leka, built for children with special needs, and Lego's new robotics kits that will allow kids (and big kids alike) to bring their Lego creations to life.
During CNET's robotics panel we heard four major players from the industry outline the role that robots will soon start to play in our lives.
"One of my predictions for 2017 is that twice as many people are going to interact with robots as they did in 2016," said Steve Cousins, CEO of Savioke, a company which makes delivery robots for hotels. Exciting if you've never encountered a robot before; still exciting even if you have.
Here are some of the robots you might be lucky enough to meet this year that CNET saw at the show:
- Kuri by Mayfield Robotics is a robot nanny that charms the kids and watches your place.
- UBTech's Lynx Robot gives Amazon's assistant a face, a body, arms and legs.
- Bosch's Mikie, the countertop robot who wants to be your sous chef.
- Hub Robot: LG essentially took a smart speaker and jammed it into a cute, mobile robot.
- Robo Mower: Feeling lazy about mowing the lawn? LG has a robot that will do it for you.
- Airbot: Taking the robot concept further, LG also unveiled an airport guide robot, which will appear at Incheon airport in South Korea later this year.
- Lego Boost, coming later this year, turns all your Lego constructions into robots.
- Leka is designed to help special-needs children better understand social and visual cues.
- Ziro is a kit that lets you build robots and control them with just your hand.
- will now respond to cues via Facebook Messenger.
- is a robotic assistant designed to simplify your life... for $30,000.
- Emotech's Olly bridges the divide between smart home hubs and smart home robots.
- Aristotle by Nabi is part robot, part baby monitor.
- will sort and fold your clothes. One less chore for you.
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