As CES 2019 draws to a close, this year’s show has provided insight into the coming tech trends of 2019 with 8K TVs and folding phones some of the hottest technologies on display. Tech giants like Samsung and Amazon have been showing off their latest tech inventions alongside startups demonstrating some truly cutting-edge innovations.
Robotics is always a hot topic in the tech world and is one of the top trends of 2019. With robots beginning to play a role in all aspects of our lives, we were all looking to CES to give us a clue as to what we’ll see this year. Will our next best friend be a robot? When will we be able to leave it to technology to cook the dinner? What can we expect from robotics in the next twelve months? CES really didn’t disappoint with the weird, the wacky and the wonderful this year. Here are our five favourite robots stealing the headlines at CES 2019.
The Walking Car with Robotic Legs:
Autonomous vehicles are another hot topic in the world of tech, but what about cars that can walk? Hyundai has revealed plans for a ‘walking car’, the ‘Elevate’, that grows robotic legs to cruise across rough terrain at 3mph.
The idea behind the initiative is to develop a vehicle that can get to hard-to-reach places after natural disasters, for example delivering medical aid to those trapped after a tsunami or earthquake.
After all the hype surrounding the cutting-edge technology in self-driving cars, could the future of travel turn out to just be walking?
A Robotic BFF:
We often focus on what robots can do to make our lives easier – maybe an automated workforce to help us with admin at work for example – but rarely do we think of a robot that can also be our friend. Enter, Lovot.
With its wide eyes and huggable body, this robot has been designed for us to love and befriend as it follows us around the room on little wheels. A camera mounted on its head to map out a room allows ‘eye contact’ and facial recognition. Its creators believe it can help tackle the worldwide problem with loneliness we are currently encountering.
Mental health is a big issue around the world and technology is often seen to be a key cause. So, Lovot may seem laughable at first, but to see a company using technology to help combat something it usually makes worse is truly innovative. This could be a new area for robotics to confront in 2019.
Another two areas that rarely cross paths are art and science, but this year’s CES brought the two together in harmony with Scribit. Deliberately designed by its creators to be different and to ‘remind us that beautiful things require time’, this robot draws custom designs on your wall and then erases them when you get bored.
In a world in which everything is delivered at speed and in which companies focus on making everything quicker, this robot takes time to bring art into your home in a weirdly therapeutic way.
Scribit takes us back to our childhood when we all dreamt of being able to draw on the walls – this robot makes that dream a therapeutic reality. It only proves that not everything has to be delivered at record breaking speed: remember, the best things come to those who wait!
Breadbot’s Automated Bakery:
Talk of the automated workforce that’s set to revolutionise the future of work seems to have reached a peak as we head into the new year, but a world in which we’re working alongside robots seems a long way off to many. Not if Breadbot’s got anything to do with it.
Providing a glimpse into the world in which robots actually do make our dinner for us and the automated workforce is a reality, this robot shrinks down an industrial bakery, to fit inside a small shop. The human is only needed to add the raw ingredients and clean it at the end of the day, otherwise Breadbot can bake ten loaves an hour, cutting distribution costs and delivering fresh bread to customers.
Is the traditional bakery toast?
The ‘Robotic’ Sex Toy:
Arguably, the most talked about innovation at CES, stealing headlines from the likes of Samsung and Amazon, is the robotic Ose sex toy, despite the fact it was deemed not to be a robot and unable to show at CES. Despite winning an award from CES, the organiser of the event, the Consumer Technology Association, later said it had been awarded by mistake and withdrew the product due to obscenity.
This led to calls of gender bias and outrage across social media on behalf of the robotic sex toy. We may not be able to agree on whether it’s robotic or not, or whether it’s suitable to be displayed at CES, but it’s clear that this ‘robot’ is generating some great PR opportunities! Although it may not be providing much insight into the robotic trends coming this year, Ose perfectly demonstrates that in the age of social media, controversy is the key to hitting the headlines in 2019.