The coolest (and weirdest) robots we've seen at CES 2020
Lovot from Groove X
Lovot was at CES last year and captured hearts again in 2020. The little bots, which look like something between a sloth and a penguin, wheeled around the show floor, blinking and cooing at the crowd. Lovot's purpose? To love your loneliness away.
The AI-powered Roybi robots teach kids languages and STEM skills.
Reachy from Pollen Robotics
Imagine a robot checking you into a hotel. Reachy could do just that if given the right programming. The human-like robot specialized in interacting with people and manipulating objects. Reachy mimics human expressions and body language for a familiar interface. It has a free-moving head and antenna as well as bio-inspired arms, according to parent company Pollen Robotics.
Ubtech showed off its Intelligent Service Robot, Cruzr, at CES 2020. The customer service-focused robot can do quite a bit, and it's quite the dancer.
Here's a look at Cruzr's array of dance moves.
Aitheon's robotic arm
Aitheon's robotic arm is built for pretty serious jobs in warehouse management. But at CES, it was pouring drinks like a high-tech bartender.
Artie 3000 from Educational Insights
Bomy II is Robocare's newest bot. The device is described as a personal cognitive trainer for improving brain function. Essentially, Bomy II is meant to help people suffering from dementia.
Robocare brought the original Bomy to CES last year. While Bomy was also designed to help with dementia patients, it lacked mobility and newer features that are present in Bomy II.
Jennie the animatronic dog from Tombot
This was possibly one of the cutest things at CES. Tombot displayed its animatronic dog, Jennie. The realistic robot pup falls asleep (sweetly snoring when she does) and is meant to be a comforting companion to seniors, children with autism and people with PTSD.
Delta's Guardian XO
The Guardian XO is an exoskeleton designed to help ramp agents lift heavy loads -- like that suitcase you forced shut.
Read more: Delta Air Lines sees a future in robotics
The RollBot can bring you toilet paper in the... um... you get it.
These might look like everyday toys you'd see in a kid's bedroom, but they're robots that teach coding to a younger group of kids than coding bot Artie 3000 might. Learning Resources showed off its Coding Critters robots, which have an added storytelling element and are designed for kids as young as 4.
Remember those toys on which parents or relatives could record a message or story for kids? Bocco Emo, a little snowman-shaped robot from Yukai Engineering, reminded me of an updated version of that. Bocco Emo goes several steps further by letting you send voice messages from Bocco to a family member's phone, and vice versa. You just need the Bocco app to send messages, get weather, schedule reminders and more. Think of Bocco as a much cuter Alexa.
I have to admit I accidentally made Emys mad when we met. Emys is meant to teach children English through immersive and interactive learning. Rafal Staniszewski, who handles insights and analytics for the company behind the gadget, told me at CES that Emys would ideally be used as a helper in classrooms for kids ages 3 to 9 learning English. Emy, who behaved quite like a human (even "sneezing"), teaches and bonds with kids through games and flash cards. How did I make it mad, you wonder? I petted it while it was trying to teach me what a strawberry is.
Qoobo was definitely one of the stranger bots I saw at CES. I heard rumors that it was a minimalist cat robot, but Qoobo is actually a therapeutic robot cushion with a tail. When I petted Qoobo gently, the tail slowly waved. When I petted it more quickly, the tail moved playfully. Qoobo's maker debuted a mini version at CES. Both are meant to reduce stress and loneliness in users.
Loro is an assistive robot for people with disabilities or those who use wheelchairs. The Loro device, which works with an app, has a 360-degree rotating camera that can pan and tilt to broaden the user's vision. It also comes with built-in speakers and a microphone for better communication, as well as a flashlight for navigating in the dark, and it's designed for easy mounting on the back of a wheelchair. Plus, some models look like colorful birds.
Here's Loro on the back on a wheelchair.
Pibo, from Circulus Inc., reminded me of a miniature version of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man that lumbered through the city at the end of Ghostbusters. Pibo is a small companion robot that works with an app. The bot is a bit like Bocco Emo, with a few more features. Pibo is similar to a smart home assistant; it can set alarms, tell you your schedule, detect motion, play music, record messages and more.
Getting your child on a sleep schedule can be tricky. At CES, Happy Tykes presented Pali, a sleep trainer robot. Pali has a countdown timer for kids, a way for parents to input their own schedule, a reward drawer to enforce good behavior, a night-light and a companion app.
Learning Resources also had Botley 2.0 at CES. Botley 2.0 takes to the next level the skills Coding Critters teach kids. Users can build sequences of as many as 150 steps and light up Botley in the dark. Certain sequences can turn Botley into a train, police car, a ghost and more.
Tangible Research had the Tactile Telerobot on display at CES. The dexterous robotic hands are controlled by high-fidelity haptic gloves. The gloves offer precise fingertip tracking so it feels like the robot hands are your own.