Every year we get a peak at the latest and most exciting developments in tech at the Consumer Electronics Show. In many ways, it is the grand showcase for what the best software companies and hardware manufacturers have been up to. And, for almost as long, robots have been the highlights. After all, what’s cooler (or more terrifying) than seeing the best autonomous tin cans around?
With that in mind, here are some of our favorite picks for the best bots of CES 2018. Also, if you’ve got any fear of the robot apocalypse, you might want to skip this one.
Sony’s New Aibo Bot
Aibo, a rudimentary toy tog originally introduced in 1999 and updated into the mid-00s, has finally seen a major return. It’s much, much smarter, and absolutely adorable — enough that some writers already miss the robo-pup. This edition plays, is expressive, responds to voice commands, and even learns from its owners — developing a unique personality. But, of course, this is a likely prelude to a robo-dog invasion.
Omron’s Ping Pong Bot
A new robot from manufacturer Omron has all but mastered the fine art of table tennis. It’s able to adapt its playing style and approach based on the skills and technique of its opponents. For some, it might be a little less than impressive, if only because it wraps all the way around its half of the court — and isn’t too great at the whole “looking human” thing. That’s okay, though, because that means it won’t secretly infiltrate our government and challenge us all to Ping Pong matches to the death.
Robotic Strippers from Giles Walker
This one is a little weird. As someone who never really understood why you’d want to go to a “gentleman’s club” in the first place, it’s bizarre to think of why a pole-dancing bot would be any more interesting. But, this one isn’t quite what you’d think. English metal sculptor Giles Walker created these bots as a commentary on how we’re all always “being watched.” The bots’ heads, presumably to make the point a little more clear, are just re-worked CCTV cameras. Still, something tells me this guy probably doesn’t get the commentary at play here. Aaaaand that puts it well within Poe’s law, which, loosely interpreted, notes that it can be nearly impossible to sort out satire from the genuine article at the extremes.
Blue Frog’s Buddy
On the other end of things is Buddy, a smart in-home assistant that can control internet-of-things devices, act as a walking talking calendar, and even be a smart alarm clock or security guard. There’s not much else to say here, other than that’s in an impressive, capable, and potentially practical addition to your home — an extension of an already partially smart-ified, internet connected life. That’s pretty cool. Until it lets the robo-dogs in and they kill you in your sleep. I’m serious. He’s not to be trusted.
Finally, we have what may be the most all-around technically impressive bot, Sophia. She’s definitely human-like, able to carry on basic conversation, and even been made a citizen of Saudi Arabia. She’s also gotten herself into a twitter fight with model and actress Chrissy Teigen. And now plenty are saying that spat will be the first mark against humanity in the coming robo-human war.
— Sophia (@RealSophiaRobot) January 11, 2018
Teigen herself has been desperately trying to appease the bot and now lives in fear that one day Sophia will come for her. As bots will one day come for us all.
how can I make this up to you
— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) January 11, 2018
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