CES: Robots invade electronics show
BY ROBERT EVATT World Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
1/11/12 at 6:13 PM
LAS VEGAS -- It wouldn’t be a Consumer Electronics Show if there weren’t robots hanging around.
I saw my first one at the NEC booth. Papero is a cute little robot -
of course it’s cute, it’s built in Japan - that can patrol around the
house for eight hours, then plug itself back in to a charging station.
The fun thing about Papero is that it transmits a live feed of what
it’s seeing to a tablet computer, which can also be used to control it
directly, speak through it, and cause the robot to express broad
emotions like, say, scowling at the babysitter for bringing a
VGO had a tall, wheeled robot named after the company that not only
has a camera, but a video display of the person controlling it. At the
Verizon booth, it was being manned by a woman in Massachusetts.
She noted that the robot could be good for monitoring medical patients
or the elderly when a professional can’t be there in person.
iPhone’s hand-held steadicam: Some devices shown at CES are amazing. And others stop and make you
I had the latter reaction at the Tiffen booth. They make all kinds of
photo accessories, such as steadicam rigs, tripods, lighting and so
on. That stuff seemed useful.
But I’m a little baffled at their hand-held steadicam for the iPhone.
Sure, being able to take steady pictures on the thing is nice, but
when you’re shelling out $179 for a product that’s easily four times
the size of the phone itself, you may as well bump up to a
Everyone is here: Loads and loads of companies are here, and not just traditional tech companies.
The New York Times has a booth touting its app and digital
subscriptions, and the U.S. Postal Service has one outlining its
shipping options and the functions available on its website.
New eye-tracking technology: Probably the most fascinating thing I’ve encountered at the show so
far is the eye tracking technology being showcased by Tobii.
Barbara Barclay, a representative for the company, said their device
uses two infrared lights that illuminate each eye, though on a
spectrum humans can’t see. That illumination is then translated into a
three-dimensional model of the eye, and can follow the eye as it
In other words, you can control a computer simply by moving your eyes.
It was amazing. As I was reading a long piece of text, the system
would notice when I was moving down the page and scroll up more text.
I could also flip through photos one by one simply by looking at the
next one at the list.
“There’s no easier way to control things than just scanning through it
with your eyes,” Barclay said.
I also played a video game that challenged me to defend the Earth from
asteroids. When I looked at an asteroid, the game zapped it. It was
easy at first, but soon there were more asteroids on screen than I
could look at.
Getting colorful: For the most part, CES is almost an uninterrupted ocean of whites, blues and blacks.
So when I came across the bold earth tones of the House of Marley Booth, my eyes didn’t know what to do for a moment.
Connected with the family of Bob Marley, the House of Marley is devoted to making all kinds of eco-friendly audio equipment and other lifestyle items.
We bring you the latest on what's hot at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show
Tulsa World Business Writer Robert Evatt is at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week. Check tulsaworld.com and the Tulsa World each day for full coverage, and for even more from Las Vegas, follow @RobertEvatt on Twitter.
The Papero robot, on display at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show Wednesday, can patrol the house for eight hours and transmit a live feed of what it sees to a tablet computer. ROBERT EVATT/Tulsa World
The VGO robot, on display at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show on Wednesday, has a camera and a video display of the person controlling it. The robot could be used to monitor medical patients when a professional can't be there. ROBERT EVATT/Tulsa World
Convention-goers gather at the Bob-Marley-based House of Marley at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show on Wednesday. The Bob Marley-based House of Marley is devoted to making all kinds of eco-friendly audio equipment and other lifestyle items. ROBERT EVATT/Tulsa World
Officials with the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show on Wednesday announced that there were 3,100 exhibitors showing more than 20,000 products this year, a CES record. ROBERT EVATT/Tulsa World