With curious anticipation, I arrived at CES for the third year, not knowing what to expect.  Having interviewed over 150 companies while attending 45 or more conferences, I wondered what surprises Jill Gilbert had cooked up.

Robots on the Runway- a fashion show of robots showing off their wares while walking down a runway to music- was a fun and entertaining way to learn about the current and future uses for Robotics.   According to a recent survey of business executives by PricewaterhouseCoopers, robotics is one of the 10 technology trends on the minds of business executives for 2014.

Robin Raskin, the founder and president of Living in Digital Times brought her sense of humor as she kicked off the fun with the music fanfare.

Fun robots which danced down the runway included:

  • Parrot Mini– a wireless flying quadricopter, using an accelerometer, ultrasonic sensor, gyroscope, downward-facing camera, is the first flying toy piloted with Bluetooth
  • Orbotix– captures connected play with a focus on robotics.  You can play alone or in groups with multiplayer games of tag and there is also an augmented reality component.  Noteworthy is their project to get girls involved with coding using spero 
  • Keeker– not quite a toy and not yet useful- designed to be used at home

Telepresence robots which proudly demoed their communication capabilities were:

  • Revolve Robotics- uses a tablet to make real life teleconferencing simple
  • Anybots– gives us a 3- D view of events which might include Virtual presence can enable children in medical treatment- working remotely, or seeing a wedding

Educational robots made me wonder what might be next:

  • Barobo– a robot helping to teach math by allowing the students to see, hear and touch math
  • Origami Robotics- allowing special needs kids to interact, socialize and learn in new way

Robots that act like another arm included:

  • Unbounded Robotics -can help a disabled person reach and grab or can be used in a manufacturing setting

Exoskeleton robots that can help the disabled gave the dreamers in the audience hope for the future:

  • Esko Bionics -can help a disabled person augment mobility, strength and endurance, by allowing someone wheel chair bond to stand upright and have some movement

I found the Robots on The Runway to be both educational and entertaining- a testament to the creativity and imagination of the show’s producer – Jill Gilbert.  I can’t wait to see what Jill, a self described alchemist, will cook up next year.

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