2015 CES Robot Show Proves That The Future Is Today
Over a dozen firms are supporting the advancement of a project involving robots at home at this year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
The robots are not like the science-fiction humanoids that live like us. But they are domestic, and useful, like an evolution of how we see vacuums, or robo-vacuums.
Or South Korea's Furo-I Home. The sleek sensor cone on wheels has a tablet for a head with an animated robots face that speaks. You can tell it to take control of internet-controlled smart devices, tell it to turn lights, music and heating on and off, and even help teach your children.
"The robot has many sensors, facial recognition and can detect the temperature," explains Se-Kyong Song, chief executive of its maker Futurebot.
"You can set it to wake up an elderly parent, remind them to take their medicine, eat breakfast and follow the rest of a schedule.
"And if something unexpected happens, it can send a message to the family saying there might be a problem and then let them talk to their parent via video chat to ask if they are OK."
These machines will cost about $1,000 each and Futurebot hopes to sell about 10,000 before the year ends. Talk about living in the future already.
Ukrainian start-up Branto will offer cheaper alternatives for $399.
It can do some unique things as well, like notify you where your house has been entered. The downside is that its battery only lasts three hours.
"We are trying to make it longer, but the device is very small and we want to keep it looking nice," says Alexandra Barsukova, the start-up's business development director.
Another robot worth mentioning is the Droplet.
This robot can focus on specific tasks, like managing an internet-connected sprinkler set to spray different amounts of water to different plants.
"We can accurately target two plants less than 6in [15cm] away from each other and give them very different amounts of water," explains Steve Fernholz, the firm's founder.
"And we take into account weather data, so if there's an 80% chance of a thunderstorm tonight it'll delay and wait to see if the rain actually falls."
Other robots that appeared at the show were Otus, a machine that keeps a tablet facing a user while they video chat, so they can do other things like clean the house. The Atomobot: An air purification machine that cleans homes.
There is much to look forward to in the future, and although we won't have robots walking alongside us to work anytime soon, we are working to get there.