Saturday, December 20, 2014

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CES 2014: Robots Becoming More of a Reality in Homes Each Year

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In the final part of his five-part series highlighting this year's CES, NY1's Adam Balkin explains how robots, both big and small, are becoming more and more a reality in our homes each year.

If you still think robots are purely stuff of movies, futuristic tech creations that go bad and turn on the human race, clearly you aren't aware of a) how many affordable robots are on the market, and b) how cute and non-threatening some of them can be.

One example is the Ozobot, which creators say is designed to bring board games into the 21st century.

"It's an intelligent game piece that can identify colors, patterns, lines on physical and digital surfaces," says Nader Hamda of Ozobot. "We can do anything from following a line. We're introducing four different apps with Ozobot."

If robotic vacuum cleaners helped warm us up to the idea of practical robots in our homes, the Winbot may be the next step, not only because it'll clean the windows, but because it's fascinating to just watch it do it.

"It attaches itself to the window with patented suction technology and then moves around with a wheel of little feet that allows it to move smoothly around a glass pane window," says Sara Rosenthal of Ecovacs Robotics.

Now usually, how this works is, I introduce you to a piece of technology, tell you a little bit about it, and then I let developers fill in the details. In the case of Robothespian, though, I'm going to the let the technology literally speak for itself.

"My name is Robothespian, and I'm a life-sized humanoid robot," Robothespian says. "What do I do? Well, I'm a born entertainer. I'm not shy, so I will greet visitors at science centers, museums, exhibitions, in your lobby."

Robothespian, a creation of IEEE, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, is also a demonstration aimed in large part at students to show them the kinds of advancements they can be part of if they pursue a career in technology. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP