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Honda welcomes our warm and fuzzy robot overlords to CES 2018

Honda released images and a bit of information about four robots it will bring to CES 2018.

Honda 3E Robotics Concepts for CES 2018

Honda will unveil these four robotic devices at CES 2018, which do everything from getting humans around on any terrain, delivering cargo or just offering a friendly face.

Honda

With the Asimo robot and the Uni-Cub unicycle, Honda demonstrated it thinks beyond the humble automobile. At CES 2018, Honda comes out with a whole new generation of robotic-related things, both for transportation and human companionship.

The company calls this new line its 3E Robotics Concept and will represent it with four potential future products, each addressing a societal need.

And, in customary Japanese fashion, Honda makes a big effort to humanize these robotic devices, most notably with the 3E-A18 robot, designed to show "compassion to humans with a variety of facial expressions."

Honda 3E-A18 Robotics Concept for CES 2018

Honda's 3E-A18 looks like its designed to accompany a human, reacting to emotional needs.

Honda

Automakers, and Honda in particular, occasionally delve into transport technologies beyond the car. With predictions for an increasingly urbanized populace, the need for large cars that can travel hundreds of miles on a tank of gas will likely decline, with people favoring either smaller, shorter-range electric cars, or other means of transport. 

Honda addresses this issue directly with its 3E-B18, which looks like an evolution of the Uni-Cub, offering a more comfortable chair-like mobility device. That one could work for mobility-impaired people who want something more nimble than the current generation of motorized wheelchairs.

Addressing urban deliveries in the future, Honda will show the 3E-C18, a three-wheeled autonomous cargo cart that could ply the sidewalks of future cities. It appears to have an expressive "face" that could be used to signal pedestrians that it would like to get around them.

As something that looks more fun, the 3E-D18 is an offroad robotic concept that appears similar to an all-terrain vehicle. With self-driving capability, it could safely handle difficult terrain while bearing human riders, similar to how the Mars Curiosity rover follows NASA instructions on where to go, but figures out how to best negotiate terrain by itself.

Honda will show off its 3E Robotics Concept lineup at CES 2018, the week of January 8.