Our Awesome Robot Future: Still the Future, Not Yet Awesome

Making the perfect humanoid servant/friend is not easy

CES has a robotics section. You might think you would see some glittering vision of the future there, with humanoid robots like Honda’s Asimo walking around giving high-fives.

The reality is more … homespun. For all the advances robots have made in industrial and commercial spaces, consumer robotic technology seems to be lagging. Many of the robots on display at the Consumer Electronics Show this year were wonky attempts to either a) make toys, b) put touchscreens on pedestals and wheels, or c) build machines that can move around but do little else. We surveyed the current state of the consumer robot market. Here’s what we found:

The Future of Robots Is Awesome. Just Not at CES

Maybe that’s because putting robots in our homes is actually really hard. In commercial applications, a robot has to perform a set number of tasks in a controlled environment. I, for one, would not call my home a controlled environment: The number of variables is so great that it requires real advancements in big-time scientific fields such as computer vision, facial recognition, natural-language processing, and speech synthesis.

Those efforts will take time, though they’re certainly accelerating rapidly. Until then, CES’s robot section will remain an island of misfit toys

CES 2015: All the News That Matters


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