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Friday, January 04, 2013

CES Robotics 2013

The annual CES - Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, is always a great opportunity for trendspotting and innovation hunting in consumer electronics including consumer robotics. CES 2013 will be held January 8-11 and some of the hot topics discussed this year will be mobility and connectivity, the new mantra of consumer electronics, the state of tech retailing in 2013 including show rooming, battling for online supremacy, OEMs going direct, private label. Other topics are cloud computing and the implications for consumer tech and the future of auto technology.

Consumer robotics is still an emerging technology issue and only a few companies are exhibiting products ready for sale, among them market leader iRobot, announcing the demo of the new Mirra 530 Pool Cleaning Robot and Looj 330 Gutter Cleaning Robot. 

Credit: Suitable Technologies, Beam

Telepresence robots have been identified as a promising consumer application for many years and there is a growing number of start-up companies developing new mobile platforms for video conferencing, tele-traveling and remote control.
Double Robotics will present its iPad-based telepresence robot. The first production run of Double, pre-order price $ 1,999 has sold out in 2012 and new orders will ship in early 2013.
The MantaroBot™ TelePresence Robot from Mantaro is a mobile offsite conferencing platforms, which via a plug-in works with Skype™ or any commercial A/V app, allowing a user to remotely interact with and observe people and their environment. MantaroBots are designed for commercial and consumer environments. Price about $ 3,500.
Suitable Technologies, a spin-of from Willow Garage, produces the Beam Remote Presence System (RPS). Beam enables individuals to travel instantly to remote locations using videoconferencing on a mobile platform. People have a real physical sense of presence, do not have to travel, and are more efficient. Beam Remote Presence Systems start at $16,000.

RoboteX designs robots for safety and ease-of-use, and works directly with end users to include capabilities that are important to them. The Avatar® Home & Office combines an iOS device (iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch*) with a highly-mobile robotic base that you can control remotely through the internet. Standard Model: US$299, with 2-yr $49/month for Premium Support or $29/month contract for Basic Support. Stair Climbing Model: US$499, with 2-yr $49/month for Premium Support or $29/month contract for Basic Support.
Orbotix will present its Sphero™, the first robotic ball gaming system that users control with a tilt, touch, or swing from a smartphone or tablet. Unlike other remote controlled devices, Sphero is a fully developed game platform that lets users download numerous interactive games from the smartphone’s application store. Sales price Apple Store  $129.95, Amazon $149.36

Credit: Modular Robotics, KT06 kit

Modular Robotics the maker of Cubelets, a robot construction kit for kids, will demonstrate some of its 16 different Cubelets. The KT06 starting kit contains 6 Cubelets that can be snapped together to make a variety of robots with no programming and no wires. Sales price $ 160.

Cubelets control, running on Android devices, is a mobile app that connects to a Bluetooth Cubelet. It does two things: it can remote control up to six Cubelets, and it can also read their values. So the user can communicate both ways with Cubelets robot: read and write.

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