Invasion of the helper robots

From Alexa-enabled companions to sensor-loaded lawn mowers, these are the latest robot innovations from the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show.
Topic: Innovation
1 of 12 Chris Monroe/CNET

Kuri by Mayfield Robotics

This is basically a $700 robot companion you can use to surveil your house. Described as "an intelligent robot for the home," it is equipped with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a 1080p camera, facial recognition, microphones, speakers, and touch sensors. It also has a "laser-based sensor array" for obstacle detection, localization, and navigation, as well as sturdy wheels so it can work on different types of flooring. There's speech recognition included, too, but Kuri won't talk back. It instead makes beeping noises and uses its expressive head and eyes to communicate. So, it's a lot like R2-D2. Kuri is built to understand context and surroundings, recognize people, and it can respond to questions with facial expressions, head movements, and sounds.

2 of 12 CNET/CBS Interactive

Lego Boost by Lego

Ever wish you could turn your Lego constructions into robots? Well, now you can. Boost is a $160 kit that introduces programming to children and adults, via the bricks we all know and love. Simply attach any Lego brick or several to the Bluetooth-enabled programmable motors and sensors and modules. From there, use the accompanying app (offers 60 activities and a drag-and-drop coding language similar to MIT's Scratch) to connect the code blocks and elicit a behavior -- whether you want to make your robot walk, dance, race around, or even meow -- on command.

3 of 12 Tyler Lizenby/CNET


This $390 robot is designed to help special-needs children better understand social and visual cues. Described as "a robotic companion," Leka is shaped like a ball, has a cute face that changes expressions, and uses sound, light, and colors to interact. It offers customizable, multiplayer games, which make use of color identification, picture matching, hide-and-seek, and more, with the purpose of improving cognitive and motor skills. Parents and educators can program the toy to guide children with developmental disabilities through different activities. Leka is able to sense a child's participation and promptly responds with positive images and sounds, such as a smiling face or laughter.

4 of 12 Chris Monroe/CNET

Hub Robot by LG

With Hub Robot, LG combined a smart speaker with a robot form factor. It uses Amazon's voice assistant Alexa for skills like playing music and alerting users to weather conditions. It can also connect with LG's smart appliances around the house, like the oven or washing machine. It's adaptive, so the more you use it, the better it gets at learning your patterns and adjusting its use of LG's appliances. Hub Robot features a circular "face" with a screen and "eyes," as well as a conical white body. The robot is stationary but can re-orient itself to face you. The screen can also display images and videos. There's no word on pricing yet.

5 of 12 Ry Crist/CNET

LG's lawn-mowing robot

This is exactly what you think it is: a robotic lawn mower. It looks similar to a robot vacuum, but it's much larger and will presumably use sensors to track your yard and cut your grass. Details on its features and capabilities are pretty nonexistent right now -- LG only said a sentence or two about it on stage.

6 of 12 CNET/CBS Interactive

UBTech's Lynx Robot

If Amazon Alexa had a face, body, arms, and legs, she'd maybe look like Lynx. The humanoid Lynx from Ubtech Robotics leverages Amazon's voice assistant, allowing it to play music, plan your day, and control your smart home. It can also recognize specific faces and change its responses accordingly. Other features include the ability to read your emails and a camera system so you can check on your home when you're away. Lynx will reportedly cost up to $1,000 when it comes out later this year.

7 of 12 Josh Miller/CNET

Ewaybot MoRo

Chinese company Ewaybot made a robotic assistant that is capable of moving around indoors and outdoors, handling objects (everything from tissues to a water bottle), and listening to voice commands. It's about 4-feet tall, weighs 77 pounds, and has a flame retardant ABS case. It also has roughly eight hours of battery life. Ewaybot said auto-recharging is coming in the near future. It costs a whopping $30,000, so this robot butler is clearly meant for the rich right now.

8 of 12 CNET/CBS Interactive

Emotech Olly

Olly is another social robot meant for companionship. It can respond to your questions by looking up information for you, control all of your smart devices and internet-connected products, and even predict what you want, such as the type of music you'd like to listen to when you get home from work. Olly looks like a black donut, but when you wake it, you'll see a face and light patterns as well as hear a voice, all of which helps it to express itself. Olly is a good companion because of its combination of personality, movement, and interaction, according to Hongbin Zhuang, the founder of Olly. Pricing is not set, but the company has suggested it'll cost around $700.

9 of 12 Mattel

Aristotle by Nabi

This is basically a $300 baby monitor with a camera system and Amazon Alexa. It can stream 256-bit encrypted video to your phone, answers questions, orders diapers, host sing alongs, teach ABCs and 123s, play games, and more. On the smart-home side, Mattel said it's compatible with Wink, Wemo, Smart Things, Philips Hue, ZigBee, and IFTTT among others.

10 of 12 CNET/CBS Interactive

Bosch's Mikie

Imagine a countertop robot that can be your sous chef. Mykie, short for "my kitchen elf," can answer questions, such as "What's the weather today?", but it can also control connected Bosch appliances like dishwashers and ovens. But you'll mainly use it to search for recipes with voice commands. Mykie has a control screen, which by default is a set of moving eyes, and it has a projector, with the purpose of displaying videos -- including cooking clips -- on your kitchen wall. Mykie is in the development stage.

11 of 12 Sarah Tew/CNET


This is a kit that lets you build robots and control them with just your hand. It has three parts: a motorized module, a wireless glove to control that module, and an app to program modules. Ziro is aimed at kids. It gives them the power to create and design robots out of anything. In a demo at CES 2017, we saw a man wearing the Ziro smart glove. When he moved his hand slightly forward, a robot also moved forward. Then, when he twisted his hand, the robot spun in a circle. The kit is available for pre-order, with a starting price of $149.99

12 of 12 Sarah Tew/CNET


Yep, this is a laundry-folding robot. Each item takes about 10 minutes to fold, because it needs to scan each part of the clothing and communicate via Wi-Fi with a central server. In time, it'll be able to fold in 3-to-5 minutes, but the robot is designed to be used passively while users are doing something else. Another goal is to eventually get the price of the full version to less than about 300,000 yen ($2,700). The model going on sale in March is expected to cost significantly more.

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