Robots at CES 2011 (photos)

From mecha-dinosaurs to cybersnakes and massage-bots, CES 2011 was chock-full of robots. Here are a few pics from the revolution.


Tim Hornyak

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Tired? Let WheeMe roll out those aches

Trade shows can be exhausting. Israeli company DreamBots was offering weary CES-goers massages with WheeMe, a rolling robo-masseur that fits in the palm of your hand.
The robot cruises around on your back on studded wheels, creating a light, tingling sensation; sensors prevent it from falling off. Retailing for $69, WheeMe is set to launch in the fourth quarter of 2011.
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Murata's unicycle robot strikes a balance

Japanese electronics maker Murata Manufacturing demoed its Murata Girl unicycle robot for the first time in the U.S. at CES 2011. The all-white acrobat consistently drew crowds with its balance-beam act.
Basically a showpiece for Murata's electronics prowess, the unicyclist can move forward or backward at 2 inches per second and negotiate a straight or curved balance beam. Like its cousin Murata Boy, it uses two gyro sensors and a flywheel to maintain its balance.
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iRobot's telepresence bot works with iPad

iRobot CEO Colin Angle introduces the AVA, a tablet-controlled robot with telepresence functions. The AVA is a self-navigating, tablet-controlled droid that can map out environments, project your presence into remote locations, and turn virtually any app into a mobile platform.
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Dino-bot Pleo just wants to be loved

Innvo Labs has relaunched Pleo with a more robust thermoplastic skin and better interactive features.
Designed to resemble a baby Camarasaurus, Pleo now has a gender as well as a personality that evolves with owner interaction. Sensors in its head and neck make robo-cuddling quite relaxing.
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Scooba gets smaller for toilet duty

An interesting new robot this year was iRobot's Scooba 230 floor-scrubber. At 6.5 inches across, it's billed as the most compact robot of its kind, and is designed to get into those tight spots around toilets. It will sell for $299.99.
iRobot also updated its popular Roomba series of robot vacuum cleaners (see demo here). According to the company, the latest Roombas are 20 percent better at picking up fine dirt and have improved ability to suck trapped hair and debris from their brushes.
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Hom-Bot vac could double as Tron disc

LG Electronics' Hom-Bot is one sexy machine. The VR5901KL model pictured here doesn't have the smart-home connectivity of the Smart Hom-Bot that LG unveiled, but it's too gorgeous too ignore.
Known as the RoboKing series in South Korea, the floor vacuum could sell for about $799 in the U.S., according to an LG official. 
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Robo-slick EN-v can turn on a dime

GM's all-electric EN-v concept car isn't a robot, but it sure looks the part. The compact two-seater, shown for the first time in the U.S., incorporates Segway-like balancing technology.
It also has networking capabilities so it can autonomously drive in groups at highway speeds. That's meant to alleviate massive road congestion in ultracrowded cities of the future, according to GM.
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Telepresence bot QB appears in person

Anybots CEO Trevor Blackwell hits CES with QB, a telepresence robot that the company will start shipping this year.
Priced at $15,000, QB robots allow users to project their presence to a remote location by piloting the droids through an online interface. Best of all, the QB bots come with laser pointers.  
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Robot snakes on a plane?

This Modular Snake Robot from Carnegie Mellon University's Biorobotics Lab flew to Las Vegas for CES 2011 and got our skin crawling.
The mecha-serpent has been in development for several years, and so far it can climb trees and fit into tight spots where people and robots can't go. Best trick: climbing human legs.
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Robots with a soft touch

Soft Robots are a project from the Quality of Life Technology Center designed to help seniors and people with mobility problems.
Soft, inflatable arms like this one can manipulate objects weighing up to 500 grams (1.1 pounds) and assist with tasks like feeding, dressing, and transfers from bed to wheelchair.
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Neato's vac-bot sucks it up

Neato Robotics showed off its XV-11 vacuum bot after launching it last year. The company says its $399 droid has a more powerful vacuum than Roomba. It has a rotating laser scanner that maps rooms while working, minimizing cleaning time.
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Autom, your personal robot diet coach

Autom is a personal diet mentor that interacts with you and tracks your calorie intake to help you lose weight.
The winsome talking droid has a female personality and an LCD touch screen. Inventor Cory Kidd was at CES proudly showing off the first production unit.
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Window-washer won't scratch your panes

We got our first look at Ilshim Global's Windoro window-washing droid at CES, and it didn't seem to leave a scratch on the demonstration glass.
Equipped with an accelerometer and bumper sensors, Windoro has two magnetically linked halves that clean one side of the glass at a time with detergent and microfiber pads.
It has attracted a lot of attention as the first product of its kind, but setting Windoro up is a multistep process that seems to make it more of a chore than a convenience.

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