From smart pet toys to extravagant robots that can fold your laundry, CES 2018 was certainly home to some of the wildest gadgets you can imagine.
Here are the most unusual products we came across on the showroom floor at this year’s conference.
An augmented reality toothbrush
Kolibree’s Magik toothbrush uses augmented reality to turn brushing your teeth into a game. To play, a child would either hold a smartphone out in front of his or her face or mount it on the bathroom mirror while brushing his or her teeth. The toothbrush essentially acts as the game controller: children defeat monsters within the game by brushing them away in real life. The toothbrush also detects movement and speed with the goal of ensuring that kids are actually brushing their teeth rather than simply moving the brush around to win the game.
A self-driving suitcase that follows you around
Robotics company ForwardX wants to make sure you never lose your luggage again — or have to lug it around the airport. The company showcased a robotic suitcase called the CX-1 that uses a 170-degree wide-angle camera and laser radars to detect and avoid obstacles. It even has four-wheel drive so that it doesn’t lose its balance when driving uphill or across unusual terrain like a dirt road. Should anything go wrong, the suitcase includes a built-in alarm system that communicates with a wristband to alert owners when they’re too far from the CX-1 or if its battery is running low.
A giant robot that folds your laundry
Folding your laundry may be one of the most tedious household chores in existence, which is why FoldiMate Inc. created a giant machine for doing just that. The FoldiMate debuted at last year’s CES, but the company introduced a newer and faster model at this year’s conference. To use the machine, owners feed an article of clothing into the top of the machine by securing it with two attached clips. The FoldiMate then takes in the clothing, folds it, and deposits it into a bin near the bottom of the machine. The company is aiming for a target price of $980.
A roving robotic movie projector
Who wouldn’t want a household robot that can play movies for you and keep an eye on your belongings when you’re not home? That’s the idea behind Keecker, a voice-enabled robot that can project a 78-inch image on your wall. It uses a depth-sensing camera to navigate around your home, and owners can see the home from Keecker’s point of view when they’re away through the companion mobile app. The company says it works with apps like Netflix, Spotify, and YouTube, among others. The catch: It costs $1,790.
A cat toy with artificial intelligence
If chasing a laser pointer or running after remote-controlled mice isn’t enough for your cat, there’s always Petronics’ $149 artificially intelligent Mousr cat toy. The Mousr can move in a way that attracts your cat and then react accordingly when the feline catches it. When the cat captures the toy, for example, Mousr will act in the same way an actual mouse would when being hunted, the company claims. Mousr is estimated to start shipping in March 2018.
A smart bed that rocks you to sleep
The Rocking Bed does exactly what its name implies: it sways back and forth to help its occupants fall asleep. Creator Mark Russell came up with the idea after finding that he was able to fall asleep more easily while on a cruise ship during a vacation. As such, he wanted to create a bed that mimicked that same swaying motion. The Rocking Bed will have a timer so that owners can set the rocking motion to stop once they fall asleep, and it will retail for $3,000.
An autonomous robot for collecting tennis balls
Many robots showcased at CES are designed to take care of mundane tasks, and the Tennibot is no exception. The self-driving machine is essentially a Roomba for tennis balls. It can hold up to 80 balls and is designed to work on both clay and hard courts. Users can use the Tennibot’s app to choose a location for the robot, such as around the sides of the court or near the net. The Tennibot starts shipping in 2018.
A robotic mannequin
While the concept may sound strange, Euveka’s robotic mannequin has the potential to be surprisingly useful. The mannequin is designed to adjust its size and bodily proportions so that it can fit clothing made for any body type. That could be especially important, considering brands like Topshop have come under fire for the unrealistically skinny nature of its mannequins. The French startup is already in touch with clients in the fashion industry and plans to develop models for men and children’s clothing as well.
Robots that can sing and dance
At the front of AvatarMind’s CES booth was a display of several of its iPal robots, all singing and moving their arms in unison. These robots, with their brightly colored accents and friendly faces, are meant to function as teaching assistants in the classroom or as companions that can help with elder care. In one demo, an iPal robot sang the famous children’s song, “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” while moving its arms and head accordingly. The robot is currently available for developers in the U.S. and a consumer product will be coming later this year.
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