With the new year comes a brand-new calendar, a bunch of resolutions, a renewed sense of optimism, and a batch of incredible robotic introductions. Yes, it's that time of year again, when the eyes, ears, and hearts of the robotics industry focus on Las Vegas for the always-incredible Consumer Electronics Show (CES). As usual, this year's CES showcased remarkable technological innovations across a wide array of relevant categories — robotics, drones, artificial intelligence (AI), smart home tech, and much, much more. Those attending in Las Vegas got to see the stunning new technologies that will be on shelves and in the workplace in the coming years (if not months).
Let's profile some of the best robot innovations from this year's CES 2023:
Your first thought about John Deere may well be of that friendly green riding mower parked in the shed. However, the heavyweight American manufacturing company is at the forefront of agricultural technology, as seen in its remarkable "ExactShot" device unveiled at CES. Aiming to reduce the amount of "starter fertilizer" when planting, the ExactShot uses advanced robotics technology to deliver the perfect amount and placement of fertilizer in a farm field. It's a delight to see how robotics can bring farming into a brand-new era of efficiency.
Electric vehicle charging stations are more and more common in big cities. However, they're not nearly as ubiquitous as they need to be for the convenience of EV owners. Evar's "Parky" robot could be the solution. This remarkable innovation allows EV owners to park their car and "call" Parky over to help recharge the vehicle, with Parky's advanced sensors helping avoid collisions or accidents. Parky could be a very helpful solution to the "too many EVs, too few charging stations" problem that plagues many owners.
Who wants actually to do all of that pesky yard work? That's valuable football/hockey/baseball-watching time! Robotics is working to solve the bane of every homeowner's existence — specifically, snow blowing, leaf blowing, and lawn mowing. If you're sick of doing these chores, the "Yarbo" line of robots can do all of this yardwork for you. They're not cheap, of course, but imagine all of that time you can get back on the weekends!
This one's for all the parents and parents-to-be out there (confession/announcement: this author is in the latter category). The Ella Smart Stroller from Gluxkind brings smart technology to the newborn stroll. There's an automatic "rock a baby" mode, a white noise feature, and a whole ton of other features for the busy newborn parent. There's even a "hands-free mode" in development that includes an automatic braking system and autonomous movement, along with assistance for going up inclines and down declines. Start thinking about adjusting your baby shower registries right now!
Today, in words you never thought you'd see together...the "robot pillow." Yes, that's real. The Japanese company Yukai Engineering rolled out its Fufuly "robot pillow," matching up a person's breathing with a robotic cushion. You can read about the robot pillow here in TechCrunch. We support anything that helps people get their eight hours of sleep a night!
Finally, we absolutely have to profile perhaps our favorite robot of the entire convention — a true throwback to the glory years of Saturday morning cartoons. The Robosen "self-transforming" Optimus Prime robot from Transformers is one of the coolest things we've seen in a while (admittedly, nostalgia plays a big part in this). It's fully programmable, with a wide range of activities and two different size options. However, I wouldn't count on it being able to take on a real Decepticon attack.
We're only scratching the surface of the innovations shown at CES. Here are some more of our favorites:
That's it for our CES 2023 recap! Our big takeaways? More robotic solutions for those everyday human problems, both big and small, dominated this year. CES gave us robotic solutions for sleeping, child-rearing, and tennis training right alongside help for the big-picture agricultural issues that will dominate the next century. We can't wait to see what CES 2024 has in store for everyone.
Picture Credit: Glüxkind Technologies / Yarbo / Washington Post / KEYi Tech / Richtech Robotics / MEROPY