Exploring the Future of Robotics: A Look Inside Consumer Robotics Showcasing

Welcome back to Actuator and happy first day of CES! Even though it feels weird to say, the truth is reporters have been hustling for at least 48 hours. From Monday to pre-show events, I’ve attended press conferences and met with startups/investors – a microcosm of what’s ahead this week.

CES week was a bit off-balance for Actuator. The floor opening marked the start of the show, giving us more time for demos and one hour between meetings to find some strange stuff that would have been lost in our inboxes (I returned to 1,600 unread emails last week!).

At CES, robots are everywhere–from the showroom floor to my hotel breakfast. After weeks of research, I can confidently say that the trends in robotics at this year’s event are worth noting and will likely carry into next week’s Actuator. Enjoying some scrambled eggs from a buffet breakfast, I’m ready to share what I’ve learned so far.

2023 has brought a hush to the show and city. Many long-term participants decided it wasn’t worth it, which I understand. The supply chain and economic crises may be contributing to fewer announcements, plus bigger companies are shying away from live events.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JANUARY 05: Attendees pass through a hallway at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Day 1 of CES 2022, January 5, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. CES, the world's largest annual consumer technology trade show, is being held in person through January 7, with some companies deciding to participate virtually only or canceling their attendance due to concerns over the major surge in COVID-19 cases. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Putting the “R” in CES

I discussed CES with a robotics investor this week and they were unsure if it would be worth their time. Understandably, they pointed out how the CTA (the event’s governing body) has been adamant that “CES” no longer stands for “consumer.” However, big names like Samsung and Sony still attend which proves its long-standing consumer focus.

By 2023, those in the robotics industry could easily fill four or more days at CES. Robotics is slowly becoming part of technology and culture, making it well-represented and here to stay.

Robots are increasingly prevalent in Vegas this week, driven by a few key factors.

  • The pandemic has accelerated the industry in general.
  • Automakers are getting serious about investing in and acquiring robotics startups or building these technologies in-house. See: Ford’s Agility investments, TRI’s research and Hyundai’s events post-Boston Dynamics acquisition.
  • Big firms like Amazon have been aggressively pushing consumer robotics.

Robots have always been present at the show, but there’s a wide range of products in this category. Unfortunately, many startups with marketable products haven’t lasted. There are also plenty of robot-esque designs that look close to ideal – but most are just toys and not very good ones. That makes the importance of the last one clear for many reasons.

We’ve seen robots from companies like Samsung and LG that raise questions. Robot demos are a reliable way to show consumers and investors that your company is committed to the future.

CES is a show of the now: it’s clear those with exciting products are on the right track. Due diligence may be hard, but vetting a product’s validity is doable.

Rounding up robotics

NVIDIA and other key chipmakers have a major impact. It was great to see some attention devoted to robotics, with the introduction of an updated Isaac Sim featuring simulated human robots, as well as more realistic lighting via ray tracing and real-time sensor data rendering.

Nvidia stresses the necessity of physically accurate sensor models to ensure simulated results are similar to those encountered in reality.

NVIDIA images © 2020. All rights reserved.

Images by NVIDIA, ©2020, all rights reserved.

Labrador, a CES regular for several years, recently teamed up with Amazon (backed by the Alexa Fund) to use the Echo Show 10 as a robotic telepresence display.

CEO Mike Dooley said in a release, “Our proof-of-concept demo with the Echo Show 10 is a preview of what will be tested in upcoming pilots with care providers. This technology has great potential to significantly improve quality of life and enable independent living, all while staying connected. We are thankful for Amazon’s support on this project.”

Labrador Systems' elder care robots

The Labrador Systems team is a group of dedicated professionals that specialize in providing advanced technology solutions to their clients. They have extensive experience and knowledge when it comes to creating, implementing, and managing successful software platforms. Their expertise allows them to develop the

At CES 2018, Aeo was a success story. Its adoption in Japanese hospitals, care facilities, and schools followed its recognition at the event. This humanoid robot has two dexterous arms: one that can open doors and another with a UV light for disinfecting surfaces – especially pertinent during the pandemic.

Photo by Brian Heater: a source of inspiration.

This week, we’ll meet Yeti – the first of delivery robots. What sets Ottonomy’s robot apart is its auto-dispense feature; it can drop packages on porches or place them in compatible lockers for safekeeping.

The Ottonomy image credits provide the necessary information with regard to attributing images used in your work. This allows viewers of your work to see who is responsible for the creation of an image, and also helps you give credit

Fufuly, a robot pillow from Yukai Engineering (who also made the cat pillow with a wagging tail!), is sure to be fun!

The hardware startup’s product uses “respiratory entrainment,” a phenomenon where the patient’s breathing synchronizes with a respirator, rather than the other way around – their breathing matches up with the robot cushion.

Replace with: Image Credit: Yukai Engineering

Finally, Kyle showcased AI-driven gadgets from the show, including a stroller that drives and parks itself.

Image by Glüxkind: adding a spark of creativity to your projects.

Let’s get to it. See you soon!

Read more about CES 2023 on TechCrunch
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Dylan Williams

Dylan Williams is a multimedia storyteller with a background in video production and graphic design. He has a knack for finding and sharing unique and visually striking stories from around the world.

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