Were the robot more of a gimmick at CES?

If you’ve ever wanted a robot to do the vacuum cleaner, then the CES tech show has something for you.

Aeolus robot is designed to perform a variety of household tasks – including cleaning the floors, rearranging furniture and putting away dishes.

However, as many of the bots on show in Las Vegas this year, the pressure sometimes obtained.

“Aeolus has had enough,” he tweeted Signe Brewster, a writer in tech site, Wirecutter, after having observed the bot to stall inexplicably during a demo.

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The moment is reminiscent of an even more high-profile hiccups that affected LG smart home helper Cloi during the company’s press conference at the beginning of the week.

On three separate occasions, Cloi sitting there, with pain that does not respond having been asked to do something useful – how to retrieve a recipe for cooking chicken.

“Do it yourself”, seemed to say, through the medium of silence.

And then there was the Chinese company YYD effort – a bot designed to allow for rapid assessments of health status.

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BBC Click Spencer Kelly found, ironically, in a state of disease – the screen on his face the view of a bad online error page.

“[The Robot] have had a bit of bad press this year because there were a lot of mistakes,” said tech analyst Ben Stanton at Canalys.

She described the experience user that is included in many of the devices as “quite superficial” – many of the supposedly sophisticated bot, in fact, have a limited functionality and stereotyped means of interaction, he said.

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Any stumbles it was unlikely to lose due to the constant glare of social media, he added.

But some of the more new ideas kept the idea of a robot quite simple, like the owl theme-mate Luka, aimed at children. You can read from a database that includes tens of thousands of photos a book of stories.

However, parents can ask if it might be better in most cases to read to their child themselves.

A company that has managed to attract a bit of positive press coverage of the Honda.

Showed a number of concept of robots that have been designed with particular use cases in mind – as the four-wheel-3E-D18, which could be used by manufacturers or the emergency services to move heavy loads around.

And its 3E-B18 is a vertical alternative to a wheelchair, which is designed to provide a better mobility for the elderly or the disabled.


Some of the other genuinely useful robot presented at the exhibition included:

Winbot X by ecovacs – a window-cleaning device similar to a vertical Roomba, which is now able to go ahead with his work, wirelessly, with no cables hanging

Robo Mantis – a four-legged robot with wheels for feet that could be useful in search and rescue

Aflac – a robot duck that has been designed for the comfort of children suffering from cancer

Totem Spider – build-your-own car from the uk company the Binary Bot which children can use to practice their programming skills


More frivolous robot may have little appeal, ” said Carolina Milanesi, an analyst for Creative Strategies.

“To have something that brings you a beer, or retrieve the newspaper, these things are not going to be cheap,” he said.

“But if we are thinking of assisted living… then it is another story.

“Help disabled people around the house, that is what we should talk.”

Ms Milanesi suggested that the designers that target real needs with their robots would probably make more of an impact.

And while she did enjoy playing with the new version of Sony’s Aibo robot dog – has responded immediately to cuddle and be scratched on the chin – she said she still felt like an expensive toy.

For Mr. Stanton, some more robots can be developed is not in the CES.

He, instead, points to events such as the National Retail Federation trade fair, which takes place in New York next week.

“There are robots that can do amazing things like verification of stocks in a store or to transport things around,” he told the BBC.

“Most of the innovation happening now is really in the commercial space.”

And that leaves us with a sobering thought.

“People should perhaps be more concerned about [a robot taking] their work, rather than become their new friend home,” he said.

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