Rise of the CES robots: 2023 tech conferences sees new technology


From self-driving machines that deliver parcels to anti-anxiety pillows which can ‘breathe’, robots are front and center at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this week – as they seek to wheel themselves in every aspect of daily life. 

CES is an annual tech conference held in Las Vegas. More than 100,000 people are attending this year – the first time the show has been at full capacity since the Covid 19 pandemic.   

So far this week, Ottonomy has unveiled a ‘Yeti’ with a self-dispensing feature that eliminates the need for a human to be present to collect deliveries.

Yukai Engineering, a repeat exhibitor at the event, also showcased a pillow robot that ‘breathes’ when hugged to help reduce the user’s anxiety – and it claims to work in just five minutes. 

Meanwhile, the new chirping Ebo X wants to be a part of the family, providing security and health warnings as well as helping owners speak to loved ones.

Robots are roaming the halls at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week. One innovation is a self-driving delivery robot that does not need human interventions 

Brooklyn-based Ottonmy unleased its Yeti throughout the event, allowing it to travel unattended to show off its latest technology.

The company bills its machine as ‘the first fully autonomous unattended delivery robot on the market, ideal for curbside, first mile and last mile deliveries, locker integration and automating the return process for retailers.’ 

Last year, Ottonomy deployed autonomous delivery robots at several airports worldwide: Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky (CVG), Rome Fiumicino International Airport (FCO) and Pittsburgh (PIT).

These were trials to test Yeti’s capabilities of delivering purchased items without the need for human intervention. 

Ottonomy deployed autonomous delivery robots at several airports worldwide: Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky (CVG), Rome Fiumicino International Airport (FCO) and Pittsburgh (PIT)

Ottonomy deployed autonomous delivery robots at several airports worldwide: Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky (CVG), Rome Fiumicino International Airport (FCO) and Pittsburgh (PIT)

The company bills its machine as 'the first fully autonomous unattended delivery robot on the market, ideal for curbside, first mile and last mile deliveries, locker integration and automating the return process for retailers'

The company bills its machine as ‘the first fully autonomous unattended delivery robot on the market, ideal for curbside, first mile and last mile deliveries, locker integration and automating the return process for retailers’

Ritukar Vijay, CEO and co-founder of Ottonomy.IO, said in a statement: ‘During the validation processes, we ran pilots with airports, retailers and postal services which gave us the deep insights we needed on the most effective use cases and scalability.

‘With our strategic partnerships, we are in the prime position to fill the gap that companies like Amazon and Fedex were not able to. 

‘As demand and the use cases for autonomous unassisted delivery continue to grow, we are positioned to provide robots-as-a-service for restaurants, retailers and beyond.’ 

Ebo X is not looking to disrupt the delivery business but to find a family of its own. 

Another robot at the event just wants to be a part of the family. Called Ebo X, this small, circular robot will follow you around the home

Another robot at the event just wants to be a part of the family. Called Ebo X, this small, circular robot will follow you around the home

It is also designed with two-way communication through a mounted 4K camera, letting users speak to and see their family members

It is also designed with two-way communication through a mounted 4K camera, letting users speak to and see their family members

The small, circular robot, developed by Enabot, is designed to provide home security, health warnings, communication and entertainment.

When Ebo X enters your home, it gets to work by mapping the area with sensors.

This allows it to navigate freely without smashing into furniture and walls and following you around the house.

It is also designed with two-way communication through a mounted 4K camera, letting users speak to and see their family members.

Ebo X can play music and sync with other smart devices. But it will cost you $999.

Yukai Engineering showcased a robotic pillow at the event. It mechanically moves to match the breathing patterns of the user

Yukai Engineering showcased a robotic pillow at the event. It mechanically moves to match the breathing patterns of the user

The robot, called Fufuly, is designed to ease a person's anxiety and claims to do so in five minutes

The robot, called Fufuly, is designed to ease a person’s anxiety and claims to do so in five minutes

Perhaps one of the more bizarre innovations at CES is a breathing pillow called Fufuly.

Fufuly is designed to breathe along with the user as they hug the robot, acting as comfort to those who experience anxiety. 

The cushion utilizes the well-known phenomenon of rhythmical synchronization between individuals or between individuals and objects (e.g., speakers’ and listeners’ breathing rhythms, babies’ heartbeats and their cradles’ swings). 

It mechanically expands and contracts to achieve the right rhythm and amplitude simultaneously, gently stimulating the user’s belly to induce slower and deeper breathing

The robot is not powered by a smartphone app, but provides three modes: regular, deep and the last is designed to help the user relax.

Yukai CEO Shunsuke Aoki said the pillow can help remote workers who struggle to switch off from their jobs.

The version on display at CES is a prototype. The company is looking for partners and hopes to start producing pillows this year.

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