From robots that aim to win your heart to ones that teach you to become a better table tennis player – the future is here, and it’s automated.
The programmed creations were part of the display at the Consumer Electronics Show, on now in Las Vegas, California.
As with past shows, there are always going to be companies touting robotics that probably won’t be a reality for another 10 to 15 years, but many nevertheless boasted impressive functionalities.
The New Daily was given exclusive personal demonstrations of the various robots sweeping the showroom floor of this year’s show.
Here’s what the different companies had to offer:
Robots for health
When it comes to your physical wellbeing, tech companies want to be involved, so it’s no surprise that Samsung has showed off its Artificial Intelligence capabilities this year.
Samsung ended its press conference on Tuesday with the introduction of Bot Care, a personal health-care assistant that can execute a range of health monitoring tasks.
The tech giant has touted the robot as one that can give families and households peace of mind, with its ability to check in on elderly family members.
Head of Samsung’s artificial intelligence centre Gary Lee gave the show a live demonstration, checking his blood pressure and heart rate by placing his finger on Bot Care’s digital face.
Unfortunately, there’s still no word on pricing or availability for Bot Care.
The table tennis tutor
One robot that caught the attention of the crowd was Omron’s Forpheus, a table tennis tutor that learns from players and adjusts its own abilities to not only play longer games, but in turn, coach other players.
Omron’s vice-president of marketing Matthew Trowbridge said Forpheus was the only certified device of its kind that existed.
ADD TO YOUR #CES2019 BRAGGING RIGHTS! 📣
“Not only did I go to #CES – I MET the 🌎’s 1ST ping-pong playing #Robot🏓🤖#FORPHEUS 🎥d on ALL the major networks! 🤗@OmronAutomation S Hall 2 #AI #robotics#OmronPartner https://t.co/B4dryc6pKn #OmronCES19 pic.twitter.com/5c71VxqFBv
— Glen Gilmore 🚀 #CES2019 (@GlenGilmore) January 9, 2019
“We created it because we wanted to show people how the technology of automation and robotics can work in harmony with humans,” Mr Trowbridge told The New Daily.
The version on the show’s floor was the company’s fifth generation, and the first to feature elbow and wrist-like movements, enabling Forpheus to volley the ball with some backspin.
It also uses a built-in camera to assess player movement and compare it to pro-players of the game, enabling it to offer personalised coaching to each of its companions.
Forpheus is just a prototype at this stage, but Mr Trowbridge told The New Daily there was a chance it could be serving on Australian shores in the future.
The love bot
If you’re craving more affection in your life, the Lovot robot from Japanese startup Groove X is for you.
Lovot, with its big cartoon eyes and cuddly, teddy bear exterior, has only one mission: to give you all of its love.
The robot will wave its arms in the air when it wants to be picked up and cuddled and even falls asleep in your arms.
Beneath the cuddly exterior is a lot of complex tech, including a series of pressure sensors that allow it to react to touch and sensors beneath its wheels that enables it to navigate your home.
At the moment, Lovot costs a whopping $8000 and it’s unclear at this stage if it will be available in Australia, but it is expected in the US by 2020.
The personal assistant
The dream of having a robotic butler or even your very own R2-D2 droid has become a reality with the Temi robot. Well sort of, anyway.
But if you think it’s going to cook and clean for you, sadly, we’re not quite there yet. It’s predominately a tablet on wheels, but nonetheless is still highly “intelligent”.
The New Daily gave Temi a spin. It’s a three-foot tall device, powered by the Alexa voice assistant, and TND found it was able to follow us around, play YouTube videos, charge a phone wirelessly and even use AI to detect your emotions.
Temi is already available in the US for $1500. The company’s head of quality assurance, Michael Rudnik, told The New Daily there was interest from buyers to make Temi a reality in Australia.
Famished university students have had futuristic dreams come true: a robot that delivers snacks to their doors.
PepsiCo’s Hello Goodness has created snackbot: a self-driving snack robot that students can order food via an app, and have it delivered to them on campus.
The robot is already being tested at California’s University of the Pacific, Stockton, with three to five snackbots roaming around campus during the trial period.
The snackbots will be able to motor around for more than 35 kilometres on a single charge. Weather and darkness isn’t a hindrance – it boasts headlights to navigate clearly at all times.